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Full text of "The firemen's record : as gleaned from all available sources of the history of Philadelphia from its earliest incipiency, covering a period of nearly three centuries : also a complete account of the large fires of the world"

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The Real Estate Trust Company 

of Philadelphia. 

No. 1340 Ctiestntit St. 

Capital, $500,000. Charter P<L'rpetiial. 

Receives Deposits of Money, j-ayable by check on demand, and 
allows interest, thereon Accounts of Individuals, Associations, 
Religious Organizations, Charitable Institutions, &c , solicited. 

Receives for Safe Keeping, Securities, Plate, Jewelry, Deeds, 
Mortgages and other valuables, at reasonable rates. Receives and 
recei}its for Wills for Safe Kee])ing, without any charge. 

Rents Safe Deposit Boxes in its Bui-glar-Proof Vaults, atiording 
Security against loss by Robbery, Fire or Accident. These Boxes 
vary in size and are rented according to size and location at from ^5 to 
$.")() per annum. 

Collects Ground Rents, Interest on Mortgages. Dividends and 
Income of all kinds whatsoever, and makes prompt remittance for 
same ; Acts as Transfer Agent or Registrar of Stocks and Bonds 
of Corporations or Municipalities. 

Acts as Trustee, Guardian. Executor, Administrator, Assignee, 
Receiver, Coniniitree, Attorney, tl'c. Receives and Execules Tjusts of 
every description under the appointment of Courts, Coiporations, and 
Individuals ; and becomes surety for such officers. 

Acts as Agent or Attorney for buying, holding, leaying and selling 
property in the City of Philadelphia and its vicinity ; negotiates 
Mortgages and i^laces Ground Rents. Collects Rents and assumes 
general charge and management of x>i'<)perty. 

Issuer Polices of Title Insurance to Real Estate and Real Estate 
Securities in Philadelphia and adjoining Counties, thereby affording 
absolute secuiity to Purchasers and their Heirs, at a nominal cost. 
Issues Policies of Special Insurance against Decedent's Debts, 
Mechanics' Liens, Judgments, Old Ground Rents, &c., the charges for 
which will depend upon the nature of the case. 

All Trust Funds and Investments are kept sextarate and apart 
from those of the Comj^any. 


Frank K. Hippi.e, President. William R. Philler, Secretary. 

\Vm. F. Noktth, Treasurer. Thomas B. Prosser, Real Estate Officer. 

f George Junk in, Solicitor. 


Frank K. Hipple, Wm. M. Singerly, Ciias. W. Hkxrv. 

Henry C. Gibson, — Joseph de F. Junkin, John F. Betz, 

Lemuel Coffin, George Philler, William W. Porter 

John H. Converse, Edward T. Steel, R. Dale Benson. 



New York and Philadelphia. 

For Rates, Sailings or other Information, apply to 
Local Agent, or 

PETER WRIGHT & SONS, General Agents, 




A t^eri ch 


The Only Transatlantic Line Sailing under the American Flag, 




AND Liverpool. 

For Rates, Sailings or other Information, apply to Local Agent, or 

PETER WRIGHT & SONS, General Agents, 

305 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. 



Jf7(^ Standard piapo of t\)(^ U/orld. 5up(^rior to all otl^i^rs. 


"v^h:a.t ij^^ices THEjyc so? 

First — Strung with Electro-Gold Wires. 
Second — Full Metal Steel Frames. 
Third — Full Metal Frame Action. 

Fourth— Full Metal Tone Bar. 

Fifth — Best Seasoned Material. 

Sixth — Philadelphia's Best Workmanship. 



Philadelphia, Penna. 

GIBSON PEACOCK & CO., Proprietors. 


Associated Press News from all parts of the World. 

Special Correspondence from Home and Abroad. 
Financial and Commercial Market Reports. 
Choice Current Literature. 

Dramatic and Musical Criticisms, 

Miscellaneous News, Etc., Etc, 

Able and Fearless Editorials. 

Subscription Terms. $6.00 Per Year, Free of Postage. 

Advertising Rates from 15 Cents to $2.00 Per Line. 

GIBSON PEACOCK & CO.. Proprietors. 


HAN FORD C. SMITH, Business Manager. 



Refiners of Petroleum Products 



Cylinder Oil. # 

Engine Oil. # 
Spindle Oil. # 

Wool Oil. # 

Nentral Oil. # 

General Machinery Oil. 






TJtjrtTTixiiynitTrjrxTyrf rxirriiTr irriririrTTiiTiinm » » irrrr i 




Number of Men employed, 
Total of Tonnage under construction, 
Total of Horse-Power under construction, 
Total Value of 5 Ships under construction. 







L Aiiiiiw 







As gleaned from all available sources of the History of Philadelphia 

from its earliest incipiency, covering a period of nearly three 

centuries, also a comjilete account of the large 

Fires of the World. 








The City Trust, 
Safe Deposit and Surety Company 

of Philadelphia. 
:n"0- esT* oii:E3ST3srxJT sti^eet. 

Full Paid Capital, $500,000. 
Surplus, - - ■ - $140,000. 

Charles M. Swain, Michael P. Heraty, James F. Lynd, Joseph A. Sinn, 

President. Vice-President. Sec'y and Treas. Trust Officer. 

\Vm. W. Conway, Lincoln L. Eyre, 

Real Estate Officer. Solicitor. 

Chas. M. Swain. Wm. R. Warner. C. N. Peirce, D. D. S. James C. Finn 

Jas. M. Anders, M. D. John H. Wheeler. Geo. Fales Baker, M D. John Sailer. 

Stephen Farrelly. Chas. S. Greene. Michael P. Heraty. Charles W. Potts. 

Andrew C. Siini. W. Durcll Shuster. Samuel B. Huey. 

This Company has been approved by all the Courts of rhiladclpliia 
Cotinty as Sole Surety for Receivers, Assignees, Committees, .Idiuinis- 
traiors, Executors, Trustees, and Guardiajis, and in cases of Attachment 
Replevin, Appeal, Capias, etc., where bonds are required. 

By special ordinance of Councils, diis Company is accepted as 
Surety upon Contracts in all Departments of the City of Philadelphia. 

Security entered in the various Departtnents of the National 
Government on Official and Contract Bonds. 

It is authorized to become Surety against Loss through default of 
Ojficers, Cashiers, Book-keepers, Agents, Contractors, Notaries, Statcy 
County a7id Municipal Officers^ and all others holding positions of trust 
or office. 

INTEREST allowed on Deposits ; 2 per cent, on Check Accounts, 
and 3 per cent, where ONE week's notice is given. 

BOXES rented in its Guarded Vaults at from 5^5. to $60. 


The projectors of this work need hardly apologize for introducing import- 
ant and interesting episodes of the municipal government, interspersing as they 
do interesting matter directly connected with the government of the Fire 
Department of the City of Philadelphia. 

In what branch of mercantile, mechanical or any other occupation will 
you find such a body of men gathered together for a public good, as the men 
who comprise this Department? You may answer by saying, the soldier; not 
they ! for while it is true they go forth to defend what should be one of the first 
things in every man's heart, the honor of his country. Still in time of peace 
they run no risks, but with the firemen there is no time of peace — at any moment, 
day or night in all seasons, they may have to go forth and fight their common 
enemy — in the coldest weather, in the darkest night, or in the mid-summer sun, 
they are always ready to give battle to the fire-fiend. What more arduous or 
thankless calling is it possible for a man to follow. When he leaves his wife 
and little ones, it may perchance be for the last time, and it is not unlike the 
leave taking of the soldier in time of war. 

The scene — An engine house, the hour mid-night, time of year, mid- 
winter — clang! clang! sounds the gong upon the wall — 'tis the signal that his 
services are needed. Out of his bed he jumps, down-stairs and out into the 
chilling air he goes— down the street as fast as the fleetest horses can carry him 
to the scene of the fire — A scream is heard, a woman clasping a child in her 
arms appears at an upper window, a tall ladder is thrown against the building, 
up, up mounts the man not heeding the gushes of smoke and fire that are 


Plain and Ornamental 

1 0th Street and Germantown Avenue, 









V ••• ORDERS BY MAIL •-. v 


V /. ATTENDED TO. ••. v 


pouring out of the windows below him. Before he reaches the window the 
woman and child have disappeared — over the sill into the room he goes, the 
floor shaking beneath his feet. The smoke has become stifling, he gropes his 
wa}' along the floor until he comes in contact with the bodies of the woman and 
child — now the heat in the room is unbearable; the woman is nearly suffocated 
and is utterly helpless, he picks up her and the child and conveys them to the 
window where several of his comrades are waiting to render assistance, they 
take his burden from him, and just as they do the floor on which he is standing 
gives way, and this hero has gone to meet his Maker. 

No wonder that the insurance companies demand an extra rate when 
taking a risk on his life, and every year as the number of fires increase, up goes 
the rate, until the firemen are unable to keep it up. This is what caused the 
firemen of this city to form a Pknsion Fund, kept up by themselves so that as 
in the case above where one of their number has sacrificed his life to save that 
of another, and when his charred and crushed remains are connveyed to his 
once happy home, his widow and children will not be thrown on the cold charity 
of the world. The subscribers to this volume, have therefore the satisfaction 
of knowing that whatever profit there may be in this enterprise, goes to swell no 
private fortune, but is consecrated to a purpose to which every one might well 
be asked to contribute without the expectation of a direct return. Nevertheless, 
patronage has been solicited on a business basis, and the number of copies of 
the work to be distributed is so large as to render a full equivalent for the price 
at which the spaces have been sold. 


rjHE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD is interesting to every Fire- 
f man. When a Fireman travels, a3 he often does, he naturally 
wishes to do it in the best style. He likes to use a railroad that will 
take him to his destination promptly, comfortably and safely, Should 
he desire to spend a day at the 






• low lori, (ir to Mkm, or Wasliiiigtoii, to Pittslurff 

or almost any point in this State, or the adjoining States, or if he would 
V lengthen his trip to 

, Cliiago, ClofoJaiit 

or other big cities of the West, he knows that the Pennsylvania is the best route 
and therefore uses it. 

iiiiciiiiiati, St. 

fjHE PENNSYLVANIA is justly called " The Standard Railway of America," 
and that means all that is best in everything pertaining to the operation 
and management of a Railroad, 



General Manager. 

J. R. WOOD, 

Oen. Pass. Agent. 

Hon. EDWIN" S. STEWART, Mayor. 


The way to know a store is to test it — buy of it. Pick some 
common things, things that you know the real worth of. What of 
the quahties ? What of the styles? What of the prices? Take no 
one's say so. Be judge and jury. No need of going hap-hazard. 
If your home store doesn't do right by )ou, there are plenty that 
will. Some stores take extra care to be fair and prompt with 
distant traders. They try to tJiink as well as to buy and send for 
them. It's money in pocket and peace of mind for you to deal with 
that sort of a store. 

That's the W^anamaker way of doing business. The customer's 
interest is ottr interest. We want you to keep on buying and 
buying year after year. We mean that it shall profit you to do 
so. No matter how far from the store you may be you ha\^e but 
to write for what you want, and that letter or postal sets maybe 
a dozen people on the go a7id all for you. There are picking and 
comparing and running here and there, and after the choice comes 
the writing down and figuring up and packing and sending. And 
when the quick package comes to you in California, or Maine, or 
Texas, or where not, all this extra work doesn't take one more 
cent from your pocket ! 

Carpets and Upholstery. An acre and an eighth of Carpets ! 
Half as much of Upholstery. One of the biggest and fullest 
Wall-Paper Stocks in Philadelphia. And all of them are on the 
same floor and adjoining one another. Have you thought what 
a convenience that is when you have a room or a house to 
furnish? You can see how the thinors match. No oruesswork ; 
no fret and worry. 

And prices are always interesting. Only a short time ago 
more than 2000 rolls of Wall-Paper went between store opening 
and closing. If the house is to be revamped, bear these helpers 
in mind. 

The Fall and Winter Catalogue can be had for the asking. 



pi^iladelpl^ia ^ pj^oto ^ ^leetrotype ^ <^o., 



o o 

n>Tos. VOV a-rid. T^O© IF'illoert Street, 


f(<^u;j^rriual5of I(nportar)tj^m{^ri(;a[}ai)d ^urop<^a9paii}tiQ<55 


ofcr)ir)^s, Ongrav'ings, Y'^sfelul Piclurc Brarrjes. juGauiiJul J^pidal Sips. 

©Glccfior)s [rorr) ll^e lyew J^0ir)iir)qs, Ir)c TaGst Dfcr)ir)qs. Hir)e E!r)qr0vir)qs 

at ©UP Lrallcclion. 




t^^HE first claim of purchase of Indian title to lands within the forks of 
the Schuylkill and the Delaware is that of the Dutch, who insist that 
Arendt Corssen bought for them the site of Fort Beverscde in 1633. 
The deed for this land, however, was not recorded until 1648. Between 
these dates, under the guidance of Andreas Huddle, several Dutchmen attempted 
to plant themselves on the East side of the Schuylkill, but they were not allowed 
to do so by the Swedes as long as Printz and Risingh were in power. The 
Swedes claim to' have bought all the land on the West bank of the Delaware, 
from Cape Henlopen to the falls of the river at Trenton, in 1638. This, the 
Dutch and some of their Indian allies denied, yet the purchase was likely made 
as stated. Printz said the deeds and records were in the archives at Stockholm, 
where, according to Rudman: "Israel Helm, an original Swede settler, who came 
over with Mimet, a Hollander, and was afterwards a leading man in the country 
and a magistrate under the Dutch rule, claims to have seen them himself." 

Under the treaty of Westminster, February loth, 1674, the English 
resumed control of all their old provinces of North America. The Duke of 
York's patents were renewed, and the Duke appointed Sir Edmund Andross 
Governor of the whole County, from the West side of the Connecticut River to 
the East side of the Delaware. 

In 1677, the patents for land within the present limits of Philadelphia 
were very numerous, nearly all to Swedes, and for settlement and cultivation. 

On June 14th, 1680, King Charles, of England, received a petition from 
one William Penn for a tract of country in America, North of Maryland, with 
the Delaware on its East, its Western limits the same as those of Maryland, 
and its Northern as far as plantable country extended. Before the 
Privy Council Committee, Penn explained that he wanted five degrees of lati- 
tude measured from Lord Baltimore's line, and that line, at his suggestion, was 
drawn from the circumference of a circle, the radius of which was twelve miles 
from New Castle as its centre. The object sought by the petitioner, it was 
stated, was not only to provide a peaceful home for the persecuted members of 
the Society of Friends, but to afford an asylum for the good and oppressed of 
every nation, on the basis of the practicable application of the pure and peace- 
ful principles of Christianity. The petition encountered much opposition. 
Sir John Werden, agent of the Duke of York, opposed it, because the territory 
sought was an appendage to the Government of New York, and as such be- 
longed to the Duke. There was also strong opposition in the Privy Council 
to the idea of a man such as Penn, being permitted to establish plantations after 

T H E 



325-331 • GHESTNar • STREET, 


Capital $2,ooo«ooo« Surplus $2,000,000. 

Securities and Valuables 
Taken for Safe Keeping 
(Under Guarantee). . . 
Safes Rented in Burglar and Fire Proof Vaults. 
Deposits of Money Taken on Interest. 
Collections Made. 
Trusts Executed. 
Estates Administered. 
Letters of Credit Furnished. 
Registration of Securities. 
Wills Taken for Safe-keeping. 

JOHN B. GEST; President. CHARLES ATHERTON, Treasurer. 

R. A. WITKINSON, Real Estate Officer. G. S. CLARK, Safe Supt. 
ROBT. M. SCOTT, Ass't Treas. H. H. PIGOTT, Ass't Sec'y. 







his own peculiar model. His theories of government were held to be Utopian 
and dangerous alike to Church and State. The draught of the patent, when 
finally it had reached that state of development, was submitted to the L;ords of 
Trade to see if English commercial interests were subserved, and to the Bishop 
of London to look after the rights of the Church. The King signed the patent on 
March 4th, 1681. The name to be given to the new territory was left blank for 
the King to fill up, and Charles called it Pennsylvania. In October, 1681 , Penn 
sent out three commissioners, to select a site for his proposed great city, and to 
lay it out. They were also given very full, careful and explicit instructions by 
Penn, particularly as to dealing with the Indians, some Indian titles needing to 
be extinguished by them. He wrote a letter to the Indians and sent it by 
these commissioners. It touched the Indians' faith in the one universal Great 
Spirit, and finally appealed to his innate sense of justice. The red man had suf- 
fered great injustice from his countrymen, but this was the work of self-seekers ; 
" I am not such a man as is well known in my own countr5^ I have a great 
love and regard for you, and I desire to win and gain your love and friendship, 
by a kind, just and peaceful life, and the people I send are all of the same mind, 
and shall in all things behave themselves accordingly ; and, if in anything any 
shall offend you or 3^our people, you shall have a full and speedy satisfaction 
for the same by an equal ijumber of just men on both sides, and by no means 
you may have just occasion of being offended against them." This was the 
initiatory step in that "traditional policy" of Penn and the Quakers towards the 
Indians which has been so consistently maintained ever since to the imperish- 
able honor of that Sect. 

The present city of Philadelphia was named, surveyed, planted and lots 
had begun to be occupied by settlers in July, 1682. Exactly how, or when, or 
why Penn named the city, Philadelphia, does not seem easy to ascertain. Penn 
himself selected the name — and, as has been proven, did so before the site was 
chosen, and he had in full view its meaning of "Brotherly Love." 

William Penn arrived in the Delaware on October 27th, 1682, and at that 
time there were probably 3,500 white people in the province and territories and 
on the Eastern bank of the Delaware from Trenton to Salem. A few wigwams, 
and not over 20 houses, were to be found within the entire limits of what is now 
Philadelphia. Before the end of the first year, 80 houses had been built in the 
town, various industrial pursuits had been inaugurated, and a fair paying trade 
was opened with the Indians. 

In 1684, the population of the town proper had increased to 2,500. 300 
houses had been built, and the inhabitants had established a trade with the 
West Indies, South America, England and the Mediterranean. 

No public measures were taken for the extinguishment of fires in the 
town until the 25th day of May, 1695, when the inhabitants petitioned the 
Governor and Council to pass a law providing them with ladders and leather 
buckets. The Provincial Legislature, regarding the petition a reasonable one, 
passed a bill in 1696 for preventing accidents at fires in Philadelphia and New 
Castle, and for preventing and extinguishing fires. By this act, the inhabitants 
were prohibited from cleaning their chimneys by burning them out, and foul 
chimneys were forbidden under a penalty of fort}' shillings. Each householder 






^ MEAT! 

Made from the Choicest Materials. Pure, Clean and Unrivaled in Quality. 
Just Like Home-Made. Try it ! 


1701, 1703, 1705 and 1707 SOUTH FOURTH ST., 



Theatrical, Tableau and Political 


Ji Lb. 15 Cts. y^ Lb. 25 Cts. 1 Lb. 40 Cts. 
5 Lbs. $1.75. 10 Lbs. $3.00. 


Fifth St , Germantown and Montgomery Avenues 


was directed to keep at his dwelling, a "swab, twelve or fourteen feet long," 
and a bucket or pail, to be ready in case of accident by fire, under penalty of 
ten shillings, and no one was allowed to smoke tobacco in the streets, day or 
night, under penalty of twelve pence. The fines to be appropriated for the pur- 
chase of leather buckets and other instruments or engines for public use in the 
extinguishment of fires. 

A similar law was passed in 1700, which provided that each householder 
was to keep two leather buckets, and re-enacted in 1702, with an additional 
clause directing the magistrates to procure "six or eight good hooks for tearing 
down houses on fire." At this time such a thing as a fire-engine or any kind of 
a machine for the extinguishment of fires was unknown in this country. The 
practice of having every house supplied with buckets, now became a necessity, 
and was continued long after the introduction of fire-engines. The manner in 
which an alarm of fire was given during the night was as follows : The watch- 
man sprang his rattle and knocked at the doors of the houses, with the cry, 
"Throw out your buckets !" The alarm being further spread by the ringing of 
the different bells in the town. When the inmates of a house were aroused, the 
first act was to throw their buckets out into the street, which w^ere of sole- 
leather, holding about three gallons, and which were hung in the passage close 
to the street door. They were picked up by those who were hastening to the 
fire, it being the general custom for nearly every male inhabitant to hurry to 
the fire — whether by day or night — and render his assistance. As soon as pos- 
sible two lines were formed from the nearest pump or well, and when these 
gave out the line was carried to the next one, or to the river. The one line 
passed up full buckets, and the empty ones were passed down the other line. No 
one was permitted to break through these lines, and, if any one attempted to do 
so, and would not fall in and lend a helping hand, a bucket of water or several 
were instantly thrown over him. Each bucket was marked with the owner's 
name, and after a fire had occured and had been extinguished, the buckets of 
the citizens that had been used were thrown on a lot, and the Town Crier 
lustily called out, "Hear ye. Oh, I pray ye, claim your buckets !" This cry gen- 
erally brought the boys from all parts of the town, when a general scramble 
took place to get possession of the buckets belonging to the rich, as the boys 
w^ho brought them home were generally rewarded. 

The charter of the City of Philadelphia, which William Penn granted 
October 25th, 1701, begins :— 

"William Penn, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania, etc., to all whom these presents may come, sends greeting : ' Know ye 
that at the humble requests of the inhabitants and settlers of this town of Phila- 
delphia, being some of the first adventurers and purchasers within this province, 
for their encouragement, and for the more immediate and entire government 
of the said town, and the better regulation of the trade theriein; I have, by vir- 
tue of the King's letters-patent, under the great seal of England, erected the said 
town into a borough, by these same presents to erect the said town and borough 
of Philadelphia into a CiTV, which said City shall extend the limits and bounds 
as is laid between Delaware and Schuj-lkilL' " Edwin Shippen was named as 
Mayor to serve for one year. 



^il^ijL./ ........ . ..,>^ AND 

Finest, Fastest aafl Safest Trains in America. 


24th and Cbeslnut Streets. 9th and Green Streets. 9th and Columbia Avenue. 


0. R. R. of N. J. Foot of Liberty Street, N. R. 


*-^s^^ BEX^VEEPJ ««5«i^ 

Philadelphia and Atlantic City. 


Philadelphia Stations, Chestnut and South Street Ferries. 

*-^t^ BET'fVEEK «^5<^ 

Philadelphia, Buffalo, Niagara Falls and the West. 

Philadelphia Station, 9th and Green Sts. 

♦-^^t^ XO «tf5<;^ 

Reading, Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Pottsville, Williamsport, and Points 

in Interior Pennsylvania. 

Philadelphia Stations, 9th and Green Streets, and 13th and Callowhlll Streets. 

For Time of Trains Consult Daily Papers. 


Pres. atid Cen'l Manager. Gen'l Siipt. Cenl Pass. Agent 


On August 14th, 1 713, the following ordinance was adopted : "It being very 
difficult to convict such as suffer their chimneys to take fire, contrary to a law 
of this Province, it is therefore ordered that if the offender will pay the forfeiture 
without further trouble, he shall have ten shillings abated him." July 16, 1716, 
we find Alderman Carter presenting the following names of persons who had 
their chimneys fired : Anthony Morris; John Billing, John Crowswhite, Abra- 
ham Bickley, William Dify, William Belleridge, John Jones Boulder, Enoch 
Story, Isaac Norris. James Logan, Sarah Ratcliff, Richard Robeson. Joseph 
Redman, Walter Griffith, Samuel Preston, Robert Assheton, Peter Stretch, Wil- 
liam Philpot and John Price. In December, 1718, the treasurer of the city was 
ordered to prosecute several persons who had given their notes for chimney 
firing, but refused to pay. 

And now we enter a new era in the business of protection from fires, 
December 8, 1718, "the Council having agreed with one Abraham Bickley for 
his fire-engine at the sum of £^0. It is ordered that the Treasurer pay ye said 
sum out of ye money raised or to be raised for chimney-firing with all expedi- 
tion possible." Mr. Bickley, however, had to wait for his money, "for it was not 
paid until December 19, 1719, when an engine house was ordered to be 

In January, 1721, a public chimney-sweeper was appointed, James Hen- 
derson, by name. 

In December, 1726, the fire-engine was reported much out of repair, and 
a committee of Aldermen were to view it and "think of a proper place to 
preserve it from the weather." 

George Claypoole, in July, 1729, was employed to keep the city fire- 
engine in good repair, and make monthly trials of it at an annual salary of £2,, 
but becoming dissatisfied with his bargain, after an experience of only one 
month, Richard Armitt was given the contract. 

In 1730, the citizens, with the aid of Bickley's engine, attempted to sub- 
due a large fire on Fishbourne's Wharf, below Walnut street. The fire gained 
great headway, and at one time threatened to destroy the city. It crossed 
Water street, burned the buildings of Jonathan Dickson and property valued at 
;^5,ooo. There was much thieving complained of in connection with this fire, 
a new proof of the immorality which was spreading. In fact, Philadelphia was 
now growing to be a city of some size. 171 vesels cleared and 161 entered 
during the year; 622 votes cast and 227 deaths occured. Another evidence that 
Philadelphia had become a city, was the fact that William Fishbourne, ex 
Mayor, a man of many great trusts, trustee of the Loan Office, was this year 
declared a defaulter, some ^2,000 of the public funds in his hands disappearing. 
He alleged robbery, but he was not believed. He was required to give security 
for the money lost, and was made ineligible to any office of trust or profit. The 
above destructive conflagration warned the authorities of the -necessity of pro- 
curing more adequate fire apparatus, and accordingly, in April 1 730, the city 
authorized the purchase of three more engines, four hundred buckets and twenty- 
five hooks. One of the new engines was made in Philadelphia by Anthony 
Nichols, the other two were procured in England. 

^^OXJl^riDEID 179S. 






Fire, Marine and Inland Insurance. 


JANUARY 1ST. 1891. 

Real Estate I 316.65082 

First Mortgages on Real Estate 2,393,632 06 

Boston, Hartford, Baltimore, Montreal, and other City and State Loans 958, 34o 00 

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Erie, Lehigh Valley, and other Companies, 

Bonds and Stocks 3.502,720 00 

Cash in Bank and Bankers' Hands 720,092 53 

Loans with Collateral 127,750 00 

Notes Receivable and Unsettled Marine Premiums 30ii407 97 

Net Cash Fire Premiums in course of Transmission 440,214 82 

Accrued Interest, and all other Property y 190,71063 

Total Assets, 18.951,51883 


Capital Stock I3, 000,000 00 

Reserve for Re-Insurance 3.288,954 99 

Reserve for Unadjusted Losses, and other Liabilities 210,602 80 

Surplus over all Liabilities 2,451,96104 

$8,951,518 83 


President. Vice-President. 2d Vice-President. 


Secty and Treas. Asst. Secretary. 


In Januat)', 1731, the engines and 250 buckets arrived, the remainder 
being made in the city from a sample furnished by Thomas Oldman at nine 
shillings each A trial of the engine built in the city was made in January, 
1733, and a local chronicle says, "that it played the water much higher than 
those purchased from London." The leather fire-buckets were ordered to be 
hung up in the court house, and the engines were stationed as follows : One 
at the Great Meeting-House j^ard, southwest corner of High and Second streets ; 
one at Francis Jones's lot, corner of Front and Walnut streets ; and the old 
engine in a corner of the Baptist meeting yard, on Second street, near Arch. 

In 1735, Anthony Nichols built an engine in Philadelphia, which he 
wanted the Mayor and Council to buy, the charge being ^89 iis. 8d. But, 
when "viewed," the engine was found to be heavy, unwieldy, hard to work and 
not likely to wear well ; so Mr. Nichols was dismissed with a gratuity for his 
good intentions. 

On February 4, 1735, in Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette, there appeared 
a communication, signed A. A. (probably Anthony Atwood, a well-known citi- 
zen), in reference to the subject of fires and their extinguishment. The writer 
starts out by stating in consequence of lameness of his hand, he is not capable 
of giving that kind of assistance which at fires is so cheerfully accorded by the 
citizens generally, but he thinks it is liis duty to extend what aid he can in the 
way of useful suggestions. He said the city had engines enough, but in some 
parts of the town there was not w^ater sufficient "to keep the pumps going 
for a half hour together." At the same time, he advised the formation of fire 
companies. Shortly after these suggestions were made, the houses of "Budd's 
long row," on Front street, above the Drawbridge, took fire, and threatened the 
destruction of a large amount of property. Attention was again called to the 
necessity of adopting some method for the extinguishment of fires, and fire com- 
panies were again suggested. 

From the interest taken in this matter by Benjamin Franklin, the first 
fire company was formed on December 7th, 1736. This compan}^ was named 
the Union, and was located on Grindstone Alley. It went out of existence after 
about fifteen years of service. Among its early members were Isaac Paschal, 
Samuel Powell, William Rawle, Samuel Syme and Benjamin Franklin. The 
Union Fire Company was an association for mutual assistance. Each member 
agreed to furnish at his own expense, six leather buckets and two stout linen 
bags, each marked with his name and the name of the compan}^ which he was 
to bring to every fire. The buckets were to be used to carry water to extin- 
guish the flames, and the bags were to receive and hold property which was in 
danger, and to save it from rist: by theft. The members pledged themselves to 
repair to any place in danger upon an alarm of fire. Some were to super- 
intend the use of water, others were to stand at the doors of houses which were 
in danger to protect them from thieves. On an alarm of fire at night, it was 
agreed that lights should be placed in the windows of houses of members, near 
the fire, "in order to prevent confusion, and to enable their friends to give them 
more speedy and effectual assistance." Eight meetings were held annually. 
At each meeting there was a supper, costing three shillings each; members who 
came late were fined one shilling ; members who did not come at all were fined 








Members of the Stock Exchanges of New York. Philadelphia and Baltimore. 

Bu)' and Sell Bonds and Stocks on Commission. 


Money Received on Deposit and Interest Allowed. 



On Great Britain and Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzer- 
land, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Australia. 




Available in any part of the world; in Francs, for use in Martinique and 

Guadaloupe, and in Dollars for use in this Country, Canada, 

Mexico, the West Indies and South America. 


Drawn abroad on all points in the United States and Canada, and of Drafts 
drawn in the United States on foreign countries. 

Their London House, Messrs. BROWN, SHIPLEY & CO., receive accounts 
of American Banks, firms and individuals upon favorable terms. 


four shillings. There was a treasurer, but no president, to the company. This 
company ren:ained in existence until 18-0. The Union Fire Company formed 
in this city the leader in a long line of kindred associations, who devoted them- 
selves to a truly benevolent object, with gallantry amounting to heroism. 

The second company formed was called the Fellowship Fire Company, 
and was founded January ist, 1738. It was located on a lot belonging to the 
Friends Meeting, un Second street, near Market. The fire-ladder was kept 
under the eaves of the butchers' shambles, on the South side of the Market 
house, near the meat market ; there were also other ladders kept in various 
other places. This company went out of service prior to 1825. 

On the ist of March, 1742, the third fire company was formed. This 
company was called the Hand-in-Hand. In iSoo, it kept its apparatus at the 
Northwest corner of Front and Spruce streets. Before the Revolution, and up 
to 1800, this company was composed of the most eminent men in Philadelphia, 
embracing physicians, lawyers, clergynren and citi/.ens of wealth and refinement 
many of whom held important positions in the State and City, and were eminent 
in the Church. About the year, 1800, the active members had, by reason of 
age and its attendant infirmities, become careless as to their duties. The loss 
of the minutes between December, 1796, and May 5, 1823, renders the history 
of the Hand-in-Hand a blank during nearly all the period between iSoo and 
1825. It is known that Mr. Mcllvain joined the compatiy in 1804 ; Peter Hay, 
in 1808, and Dr. Hahn, before 1815. Chas. Kranrmerer was president iir i8ti ; 
Chas. vSchneider, in 1812 ; Isaac W. Chadwick, 1S13 ; Jolrn Martin, 1S14 ; John 
Robbins, 1814-15 ; John \Y. Chadwick, 1S16 ; and Peter Flairagan at some date 
not now known. Among the members was C. Snyder, who attended a meeting 
of fire companies held at Elliott's Hotel, on Third street, in 1S13, as a delegate 
from the Hand-in-Hand. The secretary of the pri.son inspectors, in 1S14, gave 
permission to the Hand-in-Hand to stand in the house, Northeast corner of 
Sixth and Walnut streets. After 1816 the company ceased to be active, 
although it did not dissolve, and the engine was used by the Neptune Fire 

The fourth voluntary company was established February 22, 1743, and 
was called the Heart- in-Hand, it went out of existence shortly after the 
year 1800. 

The fifth company, named the Friendship Fire Company, was founded 
July 30, 1747. 

The Star P'ire Company was formed on January 4tli, 1749. 
The Brittania Fire Company was probably established in 1750 or 1751. 
The only trace we have of its existence is in an advertisement which gives a 
list of some articles lost belonging to that company ; the advertisement 
appeared in April, 1752. The Brittania went out of servnce at the commence- 
ment of the Revolution, possibly, in consequence of the unpo[)ularity of its 

When Isaac Norris, tlie second Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, 
vSent an order to England, in 1751, for a bell for the State House of Pennsyl- 
vania, he directed that the following words be inscribed around it, well-shaped, 
iu large letters : "By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, 


writing: MACHINES. 




Writing-Machine ! 


Unequaled for 



Easy Manipulation, 





Every improv^ement that 
the higrhest order of 
mechanical abiHty can 
devise, or capital and 
business enterprise ob- 
tain, will be incorporated 
in the Remington. Its 
future policy, like its past 
history, will be one of 
constant progress. 


Seamans & Benedict, 
Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 



Send for an Illustrated Catalogue. 

Paragon" Typewriter Ribbons are the best in the market. 


for the State House in the City of Philadelphia, 1752." And underneath: 
"Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." — 
Leviticus XXV, 10. This was that old "Independence Bell," which, recast to 
remedy a flaw, did proclaim liberty throughout the land in announcing on July 
4th, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was signed. 

The Hibernia Fire Company was founded at a meeting held at Eavans' 
tavern, February 20th. 1752, by Hugh Donaldson, Randle Mitchell, Walter 
Shee, Samuel Wallace, William Henry, Plunket Fleeson, William West, John 
Johnson, John Fullerton, Robert Taggert, Benjamin Fuller, George Bryan, 
James FuUerton, James Mease, James Haldane, James Hunter, John Mitchell, 
Blair McClenachan, George Fullerton, George Campbell, Edward Batchelor, 
William Alison, William Burrall and William Miller. Nearly all these gentle- 
men were merchants or tradesmen, and several of them afterwards became 
conspicuous in public affairs, especially during the Revolutionary War. The 
engine house was situated at the corner of Second and Walnut street. After- 
ward the company acquired the right to build a house on Dock street, between 
Dock street and the entrance to Pearl street, upon a narrow lot on which a two 
story brick house was erected. The Hibernia and Hand-in-Hand Engine 
Companies had a lengthy dispute over which should have the privilege of being 
called No i. The Hibernia claimed that the Hand-in-Hand Company was not 
organized until after it had been in existence several years ; while the Hand-in 
Hand declared that the organization of the Hibernia Company was not effected 
until about five years after the Hand-in-Hand was organized. A contest took 
place in court, and after years of litigation, a judicial decision was given in 
favor of the Hibernia. The grounds taken for the decision were that the 
Hand-in-Hand kept no minutes at the time of the alleged organization. None 
of the companies formed before the Hibernia stayed in service continuously for 
any length of time. 

The Northern Liberty Fire Company was founded May i. 1756. Mr. 
Levi Budd, a man of means, \vas its first President. Mr. William Caats, one of 
of the largest land owners in the city, was its first Secretary. Mr. Richard 
Mason, the first successful builder of fire-engines in this country, was among its 
members ; he built an engine for this company in 1768. All the members of 
this company at its formation were inhabitants of the Northern Liberties, and 
from this fact the company took its name. This was the first fire company 
formed outside of the city proper. The first meetings were held at Triechel's 
tavern, sign of Noah's Ark, Front and Noble streets. The company afterwards 
located N. E. corner of Cable lane and Callowhill. 

The Vigilant Fire Company was founded January 2, 1760, and was 
located on the East side of Second street, below Vine. One of the original 
members was Edward Drinker, who was noted among Philadelphia nsas having 
been born upon the site of the city upon Dock Creek, in 1680, two years before 
the landing of Penn ; he was at this time (1760) 80 years old, and lived at the 
Drinker House, corner of Front street and Drinker's alley. In the early part of 
1813, this company purchased a lot at No. ^^ Race street, between Front and 
Second streets. The price was Si, 600, of which, $1,200 were paid in cash, and 
$400 remained on mortgage. The company did not take possession of this 



MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan Co. 













^r-^-iM-- -- ^ m:^^- 









Office and Koundry, 606-614 Sainsoni Street, 




propertN- until 18^5. A cupola was built upon the front portion of the building 
in which was placed a bell. A cupola for drying hose was afterwards erected on 
the rear of the lot, and a new bell was purchased for the steeple. The meetings 
of the compau}^ in t8oo, were held at the sign of the Camel, on vSecond street, 
above Race ; but they were changed the same year to tlie school-room of the 
Young Ladies' Seminary, back of No. 9 Cherry street. In the same year the place 
of meeting was changed to the Widow Hill's sign of the Buck, on Second street 
abov^e Race, and subsequently to Perry's school-room, until the new house on 
Race street was built. 

The King George (afterward the Delaware) was founded March 21, 1761, 
located on Water street, below Arch. Among the original members of this 
company was Christopher Ludwig, a baker of some means, who earned the 
soubriquet of "Baker-General" during the Revolution, and who refused his 
customers liread, as he said he was too busy to supply any one except the men 
who were fighting for the country. 

In January, 1764, citizens of Germantown held a meeting at the Town 
Hall, in order to consult together in regard to the means of protecting them- 
selves from the ravages of fire. They were situated at a considerable distance 
from the fire apparatus of Philadelphia, and the roads were so bad at that time 
that no assistance could have been derived from the City Fire Companies. ' It 
was therefore resolved to form three separate fire divisions in Germantown and 
its neighborhood, and the fire companies, which were formed, were called the 
Fellowship, of the Upper Ward ; Fellowship, of the Middle Ward, and Fellow- 
ship of the Lower Ward. Subscriptions were taken up to purchase apparatus, 
and money was collected to send to England for three hand fire-engines, but by 
some misfortune the order was not fully completed. When the engines arrived, 
one was sent to Germantown ; but of the two others, one was sent to Bethlehem 
and the other to Frankford. The companies afterward received their 
apparatus, however. In subsequent years, the names of the three companies 
were changed, as follows : That of the Upper Ward, instituted March i, 1764, 
was named the Franklin Fire Company ; that of the Middle Ward, instituted 
March 5, 1764, was named the Washington Fire Company; and that of the 
Lower Ward, instituted February 20, 1764, was named the Columbia Fire 

The Queen Charlotte Fire Company was formed March 29, 1764. This 
company originated at a meeting held at William Clamper's, at which Jacob 
Maag was president, and John William Hoffman was clerk. The company 
obtained ladders previous to the year 1769, when a new fire-engine was built 
by Richard Mason. It was placed in a house on the North side of Cherry street, 
East of Fourth, next to 'the Lutheran school-house. The members of this 
company were all Germans, and from the fact that they obtained ground 
adjoining the Lutheran school-house, it is probable that most of them were 
members of 2ion or of St. Michael's Lutheran congregation. This company 
was afterwards known as the Fame. 

The Sun Fire Company was formed before February 28, 1765, and was 
reorganized September 28, 1778, located at the East end of Jersey Market at 
Front street. This company had a device of a rising sun emblazoned over its 


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door. In the year 1799, it owned one engine, 160 buckets and was managed by- 
forty members. This ancient company was dissolyed probably about 18 10. 

The New Market Fire Company was formed March i, 1769, and was 
located in the Market House, at Second and Pine streets. Its records show 
that in i 799 it had fort}- members on roll, an engine, and other essentials for 
the extinguishment of fires. It was dissolved about 1809. The Amicable Fire 
Company was organized August 7, 1769, and was located on Fifth street, above 
Market. In iSoo, it moved to Fifth street, below Arch, at the South end of the 
Christ Church Burying-Ground, and relinquished the stand to the Resolution 
Hose Company about 1823-24. 

In April, 1771, there was a fatal fire at the house of Thomas Rodgers, 
West side of Front street, near Market. In which Mr. Rodgers and Mrs. 
Baxter, an inmate, were suffocated by the smoke ; two girls, daughters of 
Captain Campbell and grand-daughters of Mr. Rodgers, were rescued by a 
daring and active sailor after the roof had fallen in, but their injuries were so 
great that they died shortly after. Several other houses were damaged, and it 
took the entire force of the town, six engines, some hours to get it under 

The Neptune Fire Company was formed at the house of Mrs. Krider, in 
Third street. The first meeting noticed was held on Monday, January 17, 1774. 
The location of their house was on Race, below Third street. At the time of the 
breaking out of the Revolutionary War, the company had no engine — the 
members being supplied with buckets. 

The Harmony Fire Company was founded August 24, 1783. This com- 
pany was established by members of the Society of Friends, and the first 
meetings for the purpose of forming the compan)^ were held at the Quaker 
Meeting, on part of the burying-ground at Fourth and Arch streets, which was 
torn down when the large meeting-house was erected. The company was 
located on Harmony court, near Third street. Jonathan Evans, Jr., was the 
first secretary, and Daniel Drinker, treasurer. Up to June, 1785, the company 
had no engine, their apparatus being three ladders, two fire-hooks, and the bags 
and buckets of each member. In 1785, the company procured the engine of 
the Brittania Fire Company. In the year 1800, by permission of Hon. William 
Bingham, the}^ occupied a house which was placed on the corner of his mansion 
house grounds, and situated either upon Spruce street, or at the corner of Third 
and Spruce streets. A new engine house was erected on that site in 1802, at an 
expense of $115. In 1810, the necessity of removal was apparent, and permission 
was obtained to build the engine-house on a lot on the East side of Fifth street, 
nearly opposite Minor, on the old Sparks' Burying-Ground. In 181 1, a new 
brick engine-house was finished there, to which the company removed. The 
Harmon}^ had in use in 1811, an old engine, which belonged to the Brittania 
Company before the Rev^olution, and which was conveyed to them in 1797 by 
trustees of the Brittania. 

The Endeavor Fire Company was instituted February 17, 1785. In the 
year 1800, it had a membership of 40, and an engine. It dissolved in 1816, and 
the members divided their funds among some of the active companies of the 
day. The location of this house cannot be ascertained. 

Watch Case Company, 

lOth aocl Brown Street^!^, 


New York. 12 Maiden Lane. 
Chicago, 1 04 State Street. 
San Francisco, 1 32 Kearney St. 


President and Gener'al AIa?inger. 


Seci'ctary and T^'easiirer. 




g / Trade-Mark 
is Stamped in the Inside Cap of Every Case. 

ABRAHAM M. BEITLER, Director of Public Safety. 


*rhe Reliance Fire Company was originated bj' Quakers, and was mainly 
Composed of members of the Northern Monthly Meeting, in Keys alley. The 
company was founded March 10, 17S6. The meetings were held in the school 
room in Keys Alley Meeting-House. In 179S, the company met in Peter 
Widdowes' school-room, on Race street, between Front and Second ; this was 
wliile the Quaker school-house in Keys alley, which had been torn down was 
being rebuilt. After its completion, the company returned, and built a house 
on part of the lot. 

The Assistance Fire Company was formed principally by persons li\'ing 
in the neighborhood of Fourth and Race streets, on December 28, 1789, among 
whom were many members of the L,utheran Church, a fact which will account 
for the choice of the German motto, "Bereit," originally mscrilied on the badge 
of the company. Isaac Pennington was the first president ; vSamuel Mechlin, 
vice-president ; Philip Hall, treasurer ; George Keele}-, secretary. The original 
meetings were held at Smith's tavern, and a few months later at Henry Mj'cr's 
tavern, sign of the Old White Bear, corner of Fifth and Race streets ; the 
company Avas afterward located on Fifth street, below Race. In iSoo, the 
engineers of this company procured a box to carry the hose in, for which thanks 
were returned by the company for their 'ingenious invention," this seeming to 
be the first employment of a box for that purpose. A bell was presented to the 
company by Thomas M. Levering, in 1S19, which was placed upon the engine 
house in 1S26. In 1S08, the trustees of St. John's English Evangelical Lutheran 
Church granted to the company the use of a lot on the Southwestern portion of 
their propertj- on Race street, on a lease of twentj'-one years — the house to be 
built of brick. 

The Federal Fiie Company was not named in compliment to the political 
party of that name, but in honor of the Federal Government. It was formed 
April 10, 1790, and was located at the Commissioners' Hall, Third street, 
Northern Liberties. One year after its organization, they procured an engine, 
made by Samuel Briggs. The members were residents of the Northern 
Liberties. The company afterwards changed the name of the compau)^ to 
America. In the year iSoc, the company had sixtj^ members, i engine, 120 
buckets, I ladder, 60 bags, 40 baskets, i hook and 103 feet of hose. A new 
engine was built in 181 2. 

The Relief Fire Companj- was organized in the month of December, 
1 79 1, and was located on Relief alley, near Second street. In the year 1800, 
this company had fifty members and 200 buckets. In 1S25, this company ceased 
to be active, but was still recognized among the fire as.sociations of the city. 

Diligent Fire Company was founded Jul}-^ 4, 1791, and was located on the 
South side of Market street, near Eighth. The company was instituted at the 
Spread Eagle tavern, on Market street, near Eighth, kept by Frederick Hubley. 
Richard Mason built the engine for this company in 1792, and it is recorded 
that this was the 117th machine of that kind which he had constructed. His 
engines were sent to all parts of the United States and the West Indies. 

The Kensington Fire Company was originated b}' members of that 
district in August, 1791. 

^^=^\ THE 11^:=-^ 






FOUNDED 1835. 


Household Furniture, Dwellings, Small Stores, 
and all description of Property. 

SEND .-. A .-. POSTAL . . CARD /. ASKING /. RATES, /. &C. 






What proved to be the most serious conflagration up to 1791, started in 
Hamilton's Buildings at the Drawbridge. Several stores with all their contents 
were destroyed, and twelve firemen were killed by falling walls. 

On the evening of May 11, 1791, fire broke out in a livery stable, on 
Dock street near Third, belonging to Israel Israel, which spread rapidly toother 
buildings, the majority of which were wood. About twelve o'clock, the part of 
the square bounded by Dock and Third streets and Carter's alley, and a small 
allej', which ran parallel to Second street, was in flames. From 18 to 20 houses 
were burned, and it was^thought at one time that nothing could save that section 
of the city. Much suffering resulted from this fire, and a committee was 
appointed to collect subscriptions for those in distress, and a benefit was given 
at the old theatre on South street, by Hallam & Henry. 

In October of the same year, another fire occurred in Dock street, under 
circumstances which justified the belief that it was of incendiary origin. Gov. 
Mifflin off"ered a reward of $500 for the arrest of the perpetrators, and John 
Barclay, the Mayor, Nicholas Wain, Thomas Fisher, John Morton, Mordecai 
I^ewis' Robert Wain, D. Eenox and David Lewis agreed to give $500 more. 
Four persons were arrested on suspicion, but nothing was proven against them. 
At a meeting of the City Council "to consult in relation to the alarming 
attempts to fire the city," Mayor John Barclay and Aldermen Joseph Swift, 
Matthew Clarkson and Reynold Keen were authorized to guard the city by day 
and night. A meeting of citizens was subsequently held at Peter Eavan's 
tavern, when a number of citizens volunteered to act as patrols. These patrols 
kept watch for some days when no further attempts to commit arson having 
been made, they discontinued their services. Subsequently, William Dillon, a 
boy about twelve years of age, was arrested and tried for setting fire to the 
stables of several citizens, was acquitted of arson, but pleaded guilty to setting 
fire to the store of John M. Jones and the stable of David Lenox. He was 
fined five shillings, and condemned to two years' imprisonment, and to give 
security for good behavior for seven years. 

The Washington Fire Company was established January i, 1793, by 
residents of what was then the Southwestern portion of the city, in the neigh- 
borhood of Walnut, Spruce, Eleventh and Twelfth streets. 

The Humane Fire Company, founded March i, 1794, located on the 
North side of Vine street, between Second and Third. They bought an engine 
from Philip Mason in 1795, fitted for the purpose of working with a .suction and 
venting hose. 

The Washington Fire Company was re-organized January 3, 1796, and 
located on Eleventh street, near Walnut, In 1800, an engine was procured from 
Philip Mason, the color of which, it was directed, should be blue. It was 
completed in a few months at a cost of ^400. In 181 3, notice was given to the 
company to remove. ,They obtained from the Managers of the Penns3dvania 
Hospital permission to place their engine on the lot on Spruce street, between 
Ninth and Tenth, leased at the nominal rent of four cents a year. The company 
erected a neat brick house with a parapet wall, capped with marble. It was 
ordered that a bust of Washington in stucco of marble should be placed in front 
of the house, which probably was not done. In December, 1821, the company 


Life and Trust Company 


Office, No. 409 Chestnut Street, 

Incorporated Third M. 22, 1865. 


Capital - - - - - - $1,000,000. 

Assets, - $25»377j693'97- 

returnable on demand, for which interest is allowed, and is empowered by law to act as 
RECEIVER, AGENT, etc , for the faithful performance of which its capital and surplus 
fund furnish ample security. 

APART from the assets of the company. 

OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE are invited to look into that branch of the Trust 
Department which has the care of this description of property. It is presided over by an 
officer learned in the law of Real Estate, seconded by capable and trustworthy assistants. 
Some of them give their undivided attention to its care and management. 

The incomes of parties residing abroad carefully collected and duly remitted. 

SAMUEL R. SHIPLEY, President. T. WISTAR BROWN. Vice-President. 

ASA S, WING, Vice President and Actuary. 

JOSEPH ASH BROOK, Manager of Ins. Dept. J. ROBERTS FOULKE. Trust Officer. 

DAVID G. ALSOP. Assistant Actuary. 


Samuel R. Shipley, T. Wistar Brown, Richard Cadbury, 

Henry Haines, Richard Wood, William Hacker, 

William Longstreth, Israel Morris, Charles Hartshorne, 

Wm. Gummere, Frederic Collins, Philip C. Garrett, 

Justus C. Straubridge, James V. Watson, Asa S. Wing. 


ordered Patrick Lyon to build them a second-class engine. It was housed by 
the company on the 7th of January, 1822. It threw a stream of water 150 feet 
high, and cost $900. 

In 1796, upon the proposition of the Resolution Fire Company, there was 
established a Fire Association to regulate the proceedings at fires. Each 
company elected two trustees, to devote themselves to the preservation of goods 
and furniture at fires ; two regulators, to find pumps and to form lines to 
convey the buckets of water to the engines, and two engineers to select places 
for engines to operate at fires. This association gradually fell into disuse, and 
was probably abandoned by 1806-7. 

The Friendship Fire Company, of the Northern Liberties, was founded 
August 18, 1796, and was originally located at end of Market street, at Second 
and Coates. • 

The Columbia Fire Company was founded vSeptember 16, 1796, and was 
located corner of Eighth and Cherry streets. The company was originated by 
citiijens in this vicinity. The first president was Joseph Moore ; vice-president, 
John Moore ; secretary, Jacob Zebley ; treasurer, William Powell. In 1797, 
they purchased an engine from Philip Mason for ^220. 

The Hope Fire Company was originated among persons living in the 
neighborhood of Fourth, Pine and Lombard streets. It was founded November 
22, 1796, and was located on the South side of Pine, between Fourth and Fifth 
streets. Philip Mason was a member of this company, and it is supposed that 
he furnished to the company their first engine which*vvas obtained in 1797. 

The Resolution Fire Company was organized January i, 1797, and was 
located on Third, below Market street. After the erection of the vShakespeare 
Building, at Sixth and Chestnut streets, kept its apparatus in that portion of the 
building, which was afterward the entrance to the pit of the theatre, and now 
is the site of McDowell's tobacco store. The Resolution Company remained 
there until 1827. 

On January 27, 1797, between the hours of 5 and 6 a. m., smoke was 
seen issuing from, the upper windows of a house occupied by Andrew Brown, 
printer of the Philadelphia Gazette. The watchman sprang his rattle and gave 
the alarm ; in a short time the firemen arrived at the scene. As the first engine 
arrived on the ground, two apprentices jumped from the windows ; and though 
they were badly hurt, they escaped with their lives. Two servant girls were 
gotten out alive, but badly burned, as were the firemen who rescued them. Mr. 
Brown was brought down a ladder by a negro servant. Not so fortunate was 
Mrs. Brown and her three children (two girls and a boy); who were suffocated 
before help could reach them. The victims were buried in three coffins ; the 
funeral started from the house of Major Robert Patton, on South Third street, 
and proceeded to St. Paul's Church, where an impressive service was read by 
Rev. Dr. Magaw. Mr. Brown lingered until the 4th of February, when he died, 
and Ann Tagart, one of the servants, died a week after from her injuries. The 
publication of the Philadelphia Gazette was continued by Andrew Brown, a son 
of the deceased. 

The Whale Fire Company was organized January 10, 1798. In the year 
1800, it had 60 members, an engine and 120 buckets. This company ceased in 

pi r^ 1 95U ra p(;^ (^ompa qy 


Nos. 308 and 310 Walnut Street, 


CASH CAPITAL, - - - $oOO,000,00 

Reserve foi' Rehisiiraneeand all 

other claims, - - - 1,994 6SS.25 

Surplus over all Liahllities, - - 455^708,82 

THOS. H. MONTGOMERY, President. 

CHAS. P. PEROT, Vice-President. 

RICHARD MARIS, Secretary and Treasurer. 

JAMES B. YOUNG, Actuary. 


Thomas H. Montgomery, ' Charles P. Perot, 

Israel Morris, Joseph E. Gillinghani, 

Pemberton S. Hutchinson, Samuel Welsh, 

Alexander Biddle, Charles S. Whelen, 

Edward F. Beale, Jr. 


a few years to be active. The records, strange to say, does not give any 
location for this company. 

The Philadelphia Fire Company was formed by members of the Society 
of Friends, January 15, 1799. Their engine was purchased in the year 1800, 
and was made by Philip Mason. It was placed temporarily in the house on the 
Bingham Estate, at the Northwest corner of Spruce and Third streets, which 
had formerly been occupied by the Harmony Company. A committee was 
appointed to obtain a site for a new engine-house, and in course of the year, the 
company got permission from Casper Wister Haines, to build on a lot on Fourth 
street. North of Market. The house which was constructed Avas of brick, and 
cost $ii6. In 1801, this company directed that every member should "wear a 
hat of the color of the company," (chocolate), with a label similar to that of 
the buckets, with the word "Philadelphia" on it. The new engine was not 
satisfactory in its performance, and it was sold in 1802, for $350 ; and a new 
one was ordered of Patrick Lyon for $575. In December, 1803, it was agreed 
with the members of the Philadelphia Plose Company, that on the site of the 
house, occupied by the new engine company, a new building should be erected 
to accommodate the apparatus of both companies. This was afterwards done- 
The house was about 18 feet front, and cost $250. The companies remained in 
this situation until 1811, when the corporations of Z'\on and St. Michael's 
Lutheran Churches granted to the use of the Engine Company a lot of ground 
on the East side of Fourth street, below Cherry, 20 feet in front, by 20 feet in 
depth. Here a house was erected with a double-pitched roof, the gable on the 
street, with a dormer window. There was a cupola or steeple, which 
surmounted a wooden tower, the object of which was to furnish a place where 
hose might be hung up for drying. 

The Weccacoe Fire Company, which was formed May i, 1800, secured 
about $500 by subscription, and procured an engine built by Philip Mason for 
^210, which was housed on the 4th of July, 1800, in a house built for the 
company by Jacob Reinhard, at the corner of Front and Christian streets. A bell 
was placed in front of the house, to be rung in times of fire. Some time after- 
ward, the company removed its house to the corner of Union alley and Front 
street, where it remained for two years ; the house was then removed to Prime 
street landing, and the bell was sent to New Orleans. In 181 7, the commis- 
sioners of Southwark, granted to the company permission to use the lot in front 
of its hall on Sduth street, and for years this company was not allowed to go to 
fires out of the Southwark district. 

The Star Fire Company was instituted probably after the year 1800. It 
was in existence in June, 1808, but was not in service ten 5'ears afterward. No 
record of the location of this company could be found. 

The Good Will Fire Company was formed March 27, 1802, and was 
located on the Northwest corner of Juniper and Race streets. Patrick Lyon 
furnished an engine for this company in February, 1803. As the streets in the 
"Western part of the city were un paved when the company was established, and 
many of them remained so for a long time afterwards, it was necessary at times 
to use horses. A tongue was fixed to the apparatus, and this was the first 
engine in Philadelphia that was drawn to fires by the aid of horses. In 1818, 


M ■ ki - 



419, 421, 423 CHESTNUT STREET. 

Statement of Condition, September 25tli, 1891. 


Loans and Discounts, 
Dae from Banks, 
Banking House and Lot, 
Cash and Reserve, 


Capital Stock, 

Surplus and Undivided Profits, 

Circulation, - 


$5,070,442 89 

1,144,608 98 

250,000 00 

2,499,710 18 

$9,504,852 05 

$1,500,000 00 

1,147,030 55 

53,340 00 

6,804,481 50 

$9,564,852 05 

Benjamin D. Comegys, President. 

Edward S. Clarke, Gentleman. Aui,nistiis Heaton, Genlleman. 

J. Livinj^ston Erringer, Prest., The Philadelphia Trust Safe Deposit and Insurance Co. 

N. Parker Shortrid^e, Gentleman. 

Edward Y. Townsend, President, The Cambria Iron Co. 

Richard Ashhurst, Treasurer, Wm. Wharton, Jr., & Co., Incorporated. 

Charles C. Harrison. President. The Franklin Sugar Refining; Co. 

Alfred M. Collins, Treasurer. The A. M. Collins Manufacturing; Co. 

Eu«^;ene Delano, with Brown Brothers & Co. 

Lincoln Godfrey, with Wm. Simpson Sons & Co. 

John H. Converse, with Burnham, Williams & Co. 

George Wood, with R. D. Wood & Sons. 

James W. Torrey, Cashier. 


an alarm-bell was purchased by subscription and placed in the engine-house. 
After the fire at the Orphan Asylum in 1822, it was determined to fix the bell 
outside the house ; and it was placed upon a pole in the rear. The apparatus 
of the company at this time consisted of an engine, hose, buckets and hook- 


Two attempts were made to fire the city on the night of January 14, 1803. 
Mayor Lawler the following dav sent a message to the Council, speakmg of 
these attempts. 28 patrols were appointed, and a reward of ^400 was offered 
for the arrest of anv incendiary. The entire year seemed more or less occupied 
with pndeavors to improve the arrangements for extinguishment of fires. 
Public attention was called to this by the large number of incendiary fires. 
February 8th, the old Quaker school-house, on Fourth street, below Chestnut, 
said to be the first school-house built in Pennsylvania, was destroyed by fire, 
and but few of the books and appurtenances were saved. 

Au-ust 25th. at P. Daniel's shot and lead factory, on Water street, near 
Market, a'di.sastrous fire occurred. The fire was discovered by some citizens, 
and the alarm was given. After the fire had been gotten under control, and just 
about time for the firemen to leave, the front walls fell without a moments 
warning, covering up several of their number, John Clark, Richard Naylor and 
Thomas Rilev. were instantly killed, while a number of others received severe 
iniuries At' this time, water was handed along lines of men and poured into 
the hand engines. The suggestion was now made that the "hose might be 
attached to the hydrants," and a standard of uniform size for the fire-plugs was 
proposed This lead to the formation of the Philadelphia Hose Company, 
which was the first association for the management of hose at fires estabhshed 
in Philadelphia, and it may also be said, the first in the world ; the small 
quantitv of hose previously in use being the property of engine companies. A 
severe fire, which took place in Sansom street, on the 13th of December, 1803, 
was rendered more than ordinarily destructive by the want of water, the supply 
of hose in use being small, and not sufficient to carry much water to the engines. 
The necessity of an organization for the special management of hose seems to 
have attracted the attention of some young men at the fire on Sansom stree , 
and two davs later they met at the house of Reuben Haines No. 4 Bank street. 
They made an estimate of how much it would cost for 400 feet of hose, and the 
screws for the same, with a machine for conveying the hose, also, for the 
erection of a frame house. The hose, it was estimated, could be obtamed at 50 
cents a foot, and the carriage for 550. According to the estimate. $35° were 
sufficient to place the company in active service. They were successful m 
raising over ^700. 600 feet of leather hose 2 3^ inches in <i;--ter. was 
contracted for with Frederick Schultz, at the price of 43 cents a foot. There 
were ix sections, each 50 feet long, and 2 of 20 feet. The company adopted 
the following motto -.-"With Willing Hearts, We hasten to Assist. The first 
Lse-carriage was made after a plan designed by Patrick Lyon. It was in shape 
something like an oblong box on wheels, and the hose was carried loosely in it 
A roller ^as provided at the end for the hose to pass over^ and lanterns were 
fixed on each end of the carriage, prepared to hold candles. In front was 
painted the company's motto :-".V.. SM Sed 0>nmbusr and "Original 


CAPITAL, $1,000,000. SURPLUS, $127,000. 


Title Insurance and Trust Company, 

813 Chestnut Street. 



Insures TITLES to Real Estate and Mort- 

Executes TRUSTS of every description. 

Receives money on DEPOSIT and allows 
2 per cent. INTEREST payable on 

LOANS money on Collateral or Mortgage 

Becomes SURETY for Administrators,|etc. 

Safe Deposit Boxes for Rent, for three 
dollars and upwards. 

• ■ 

••• ••• 

HENRY M. DECHERT, President. 

ANDREW J. MALONEY, Vice President. 

ADAM A. STl'LL, Secretary and Treasnrer. 

EDW. H. BONSALL, Title and Trust Officer. 

ANDREW T. KAY, Assistant Title Officer. 

CHARLES K. ZUG, Assistant Trust Officer. 

Abraham M. Beitler, 

Henry M. Dechert, 

John F. Lewis, 

John H. Sloan, 

John M. McCuidy, 

Francis E. Brewster, 
Samuel T. Fox. 
Andrew J. Maloney, 
Frederick Sylvester, 
R. A. Wilkinson, 

Charles Carver, 
William Gorman, 

• Wm. S. Ringgold. 
Isaac D. Yocum, 

Henry S. Cattell. 


Institution." The entire cost of this apparatus was $98. The company went 
into service for the first time on the ^d of March, 1804, at a fire in "Whalebone 
(now Hudson) alley, which consumed the stables of Israel Israel ; the weather 
was cold, but the hose answered well, and the members behaved to so much 
advantage that the Contributionship Insurance Company made a donation to 
the organization of $70. A bell was added to the carriage in 1804. 

James P. Park, a member, perfected a plan by which the bell was made 
to move by means of a spring, so that, while effectual, it was not continuous. 
Various improvements were made to the apparatus, among which were 
delivering pipes, and bridges to prevent hose from being cut. A hose-carriage 
upon a new plan was built by Philip Mason, in 1806. In that year a uniform 
costume for members was agreed upon, which was the first equipment dress 
adopted by any fire-company in the city. The original By-Laws, in 1803, 
ordered that each member should wear a hat with the words, "Philadelphia 
Hose Company," painted on it, and it was recommended that each member 
should wear a roundabout jacket. The new uniform consisted of a dark frock 
coat, reaching within two inches of the knee. After the hose became generally 
in use, the fire-companies gradually abandoned the fire-buckets, and, as there 
were great numbers of these useful vessels, the result was the setting up of 
separate organizations known as bucket companies. 

There was considerable difficulty at the period when what is now called 
"hose," came into operation, as to the proper method of spelling that word. In 
the minutes of the old engine-companies, it is called according to the fancy of 
the secretaries and writers of the minutes, "hoose," "hooze," "hoase," The 
founders of the Philadelphia, called it "hose," but the founders of the second 
company formed for hose service, rejected that spelling, and in veneration for 
the past, we may suppose, adopted something more ancient. Thus it happened 
that on the 8th of March, 1804, the Good Intent "Hoase" Company was formed, 
and despite all usage to the contrary, it remained a "hoase" company until 
August 1824, when, by special resolution, the secretary was ordered to spell the 
the word according to modern form. The great majority of the members were 
Quakers, and the minutes were kept in the Quaker style. Furthermore, the 
original house of the company was built upon the property of the Quaker 
school, on the East side of Fourth street, below Chestnut. The first hose- 
carriage was finished in February, 1808, and was of the box shape. On the 
front was a perpendicular pole, capable of sliding up and down, upon which a 
lamp was fixed for a badge, but that plan was soon given up in consequence of 
not producing the desired effect. 

On the nth of April 1804, in the spirit of the motto : "To be Useful is 
Our Wish," the same young men associated themselves as the Resolution Hose 
Company. They procured a carriage on the box plan. They adopted, as their 
badge of distinction, a red signal-lamp. The hose-carriage was placed on a lot 
on the South side of Market street, nearly opposite Elbow lane, and was housed 
in ashed. In 1810, William Warren, then manager of the Chestnut Street 
Theatre, granted to the company the right to house its carriage on Carpenter 
street, near Sixth, where the old gallery entrance was afterwards opened. The 
Resolution Fire Company was at the same time housed in a portion of the 

^a'oe ©yVftiPe ^ou. ©an ^a^oel 

No saving fiiiul is so safe, or so saving, or so judicious, as life insurance saving. 

No life insurance on earth is better than Penn Mutual Life Insurance. 

The Company is wliolly mutual. Your business is i/s particular business; no rich men, 
stock-holders, speculators, or peculators can divert your funds from the one use in- 
tended, or vixkc a profit by handling them. The profit or saving is yours Hence 

An unblemished record of forty two years ought to count. It does. The Company was 
never so prosperous. Its business is widely and safely extending. 

Why not begin saving now? The benefits and advantages which the Company confers wait 
only for your asking. 

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. 

921, 923 and 925 Chestnut Street, 




• or • 




• 1641. • 



thsitre, 0:1 Sixth stra2t, which was afterwards used as a piteiUrance. The badge 
adopted by the Resolution was an eagle with expanded wings, which was 
painted on the hat ; and when the Columbia applied for admission to the Hose 
Ass3ciatio:i, the Resolution objected to its using the national bird as a badge ; 
but the protest was not sanctioned, whereupon the Resolution withdrew from 
the Association. Riv^et hose was obtained in May 1812. A bell was placed on 
the hose-carriage in 18 r 7, and in the latter part of that year, or the beginning of 
181 8, a new carriage was obtained, with a cylinder four feet in diameter. An 
arch was thrown across the carriage in front, from side to side, upon which was 
placed a lamp, with a red light and a fine- toned bell. 

By the destruction of the Chestnut Street Theatre, on April 2d, 1820, the 
Resolution Hose Company was burned out. The carriage and hose were saved, 
but the books and papers were lost. The Philadelphia Hose Company gave 
the Resolution permission to put its carriage in its house until accommodations 
for it could be found. Before the theatre was re-built, Mr. Warren allowed the 
company to build a house on the old site which was two stories in height, and had 
an upper room for meetings. In July 181 2, a new carriage was ordered that 
was built upon springs, about which there was great investigation and a very 
lengthy report. Thomas Ogle finished this carriage in December, 1821. In the 
next year, on account of the plan of "rebuilding the theatre, the company was 
obliged to relinquish its quarters on Carpenter street. It obtained the house of 
the Amicable Fire Company, on the East side of Fifth street, above Market. 
An arrangement was entered into by which the Amicable went out of active 
service and yielded up its apparatus, etc., the Resolution assuming the debts of 
the Amicable, which were $50. Christ Church gave the company a 20-year 
lease, provided they would have a vault under the hose-house. John Haviland 
designed the plan, and the building was so finished. When the company was 
instituted, the members were generally Americans; but John W. Blanchard, an 
original member, was a native of France, and soon introduced so many of his 
countrymen, that the company became known as the "French Company." 

On the 24th of July, 1805, a general meeting was held of the directors of 
the Philadelphia, Good Intent and Humane Hose Companies, at which, certain 
rules were adopted in regard to their intercourse at times of fire. This was the 
beginning of what was afterwards called the "Fire Hose Association." Thife 
body continued in existence until July 181 7, when it dissolved, the reason being 
that it could not enforce its resolutions. Immediately afterward the Fire 
Association — an association composed of fire companies and hose companies — 
was established, and the Philadelphia entered the union. In 18 18, it was 
proposed to make the association, an insurance company, which the members of 
the Philadelphia opposed, and then withdrew. In 1825, the Philadelphia 
rejoined the association. 

The Neptune Hose Company was formed at a meeting of young men at 
Dunn's Hotel, August 6, 1805, at w^hich Michael Nesbit was chairman and Jacob 
Chrystler was secretary. There were present beside the officers, Moses Thomas, 
William Carr, WiUiam M. Becharms, Emanuel Spangler, John Hutton, John 
Neckervis, Isaac Pennington. Joseph Redman, John Sickle, James vStokes and 
John M. Funk. The company adopted a hat, the ground color of which was 


f^ TT--I A T-:>T->k SURPLUS, $2,000.00 

OriJrvAlXlJ CAPITAL, $1000.00 


Trust Co. 

Executes Trusts, 

Allows Interest on Deposits, 

Safe Deposit Boxes for Rent. 

Cares for Real Estate. 


Effingham B. Morris, President. 

Henry Tatnall, Vice President. 
Wm, M. Ely, Treasurer. 

J. Andrews Harris, Jr., Assistant Treasurer. 
Nathaniel B. Crenshaw, R. E. Officer. 

Greorge Tucker Bispham, Solicitor. 


Effingham B. Morris, John B. Garrett, Samuel B. Brown, 

H. N. Burroughs, William H. Jenks, Francis I. Gowen, 

John A. Brown, Jr, Geo. Tucker Bispham, George H. McFadden, 

Benjamin W. Richards, William H. Gaw, Henry Tatnall, 

Isaac H. Clothier, John C. Sims. 

Broad and Cliestnu.t. 


black, and on the front was a painting of "Neptune" holding a trident, and 
drawn in a car by two sea horses. It was the most elegant hat worn by any 
company at this period. Their motto was '' Piilehenunest Bencficcre res Publira," 
which was thus interpreted: "It is a glorious thing to be serviceable to the 
public." Moses Thomas was elected president; Emanuel Spangler, secretary, 
and George Sickle, treasurer. The carriage was made by Patrick Lyon for 
$135, and 450 feet of hose was furni.shed by Frederick Schult7. for $218. The 
carriage and hose were furnished and in the hands of the company in December 
1805, and temporarily deposited in a chair-house in Watkins' alley, which led 
from Third to Bread street, nearly opposite Cherry, and was afterward called 
Fetter lane. In 1806, the County Commissioners gave the company the 
privilege of depositing its carriage in a house for the accommodation of a fire 
company, which had been built in front of the Walnut-Street Pri.son at the 
Southeast corner of Sixth and Walnut streets ; where the company remained 
bnt three months, and at the end of that time resolved to return to the old house 
in Watkins' alley. In 1807, the apparatus was removed to the house formerly 
occupied by the Neptune Fire Company, in Coats's alley. Subsequently it was 
removed to a house on the South side of Race street. East of Fourth, upon a 
portion of a lot belonging to the German Reformed Church. In the latter part 
of 181 8, notice having been given to the company to remove from the Church 
lot, a coach-house and stable, situated on Cherry street, between Fifth and 
Sixth, was rented, and the apparatus was removed to that place. 

The Perseverance Hose Company was established on the 27th of May, 
1805, by a number of boys and young men, nearly all of whom were the 
apprentices of house carpenters and resided in the neighborhood of Fifth and 
Wood streets. Several of them were apprentices of Philip Justus, Nathan 
Smith and Frederick Forepaugh. The members of this company were all under 
age, and were without means or influence, and their progress was naturally 
slow. At the time of the fire in Pennington's sugar-house on Vine street, below 
Third, the company had neither house nor hose-carriage. They began the 
acquirement of suitable implements by the purchase of 4 or 5 sections of hose, 
which they carried on their backs to fires, and succeeded in supplying the 
Philadelphia Fire Company. The members being generally carpenters, it was 
not necessary that they should go to Patrick L,yon for a hose-carriage, so they 
resolved to build one themselves, the material being contributed by friends. It 
was constructed at the house of Philip Justus; they afterward obtained the use 
of a lot of ground owned by Catherine Lowery, situated back of Vine street, 
between Fifth and Sixth, and was accessible by Branner's court. Here, with 
their own hands, they built a hose-house. But in 1809, the trustees of St. John's 
Lutheran Church granted them a site on Race street. West of Fifth, for the 
term of 21 years, and there they erected a brick building, to which their 
apparatus was removed. In 1812, after 7 years' service of the original carriage, 
a contract was made for another, which was the first one built on springs, and 
the second one built with a cylinder wheel. 

The Hope Hose Company was organized on the 5th of August, 1805, by 
a number of young men residing in the vicinity of Second and Pine streets. 
Philip Mason made the hose box, which was ready in December, and hose was 

... I olinnx^Bi f 



28-30-32-34 S. Second Slreel, 

IBelOTTsT 3^/£a.r:k:et. 


Merchandise and Household Goods 

dh Easy WeEkly PayniEiits as 
CtLEap as for Cash.. 



Terms on a Bill of Ten Dollars, $1.00 Cash and 

Si. 00 a Week. 


28-30-32-34 S. Second Street, 

JOHN R. CANTLIN, Chief Engineer, Bureau of Fire. 
Treasurer of Pension Fund. 


procured in the Fall of the same year. The company obtained permission from 
the City Councils to occupy a hose-house in the hall erected at the Northern end 
of the New Market, at Second and Pine streets. This was the Eastern-most 
liouse for fire apparatus, and had been occupied by the New Market Fire 
Company, which was dissolved about the year 1800. Permission was given to 
the Hope Hose Company to ring the bell in the cupola, in time of fire. In 
June 1806, the company adopted the following motto: '' Omnis Actus Specificatur 
Objecin," (" P^very act is specified from its object"). A new hose-carriage, 
obtained in 181 6,- cost $317.55. John A. Woodside painted a handsome 
frontispiece, representing "Hope," with her anchor. The old carriage was 
repaired, and was also kept in use. In September 1819, another hose-carriage, 
built by Jeffries & Nuttall, for the Franklin Hose Company, which latter 
association was dissolved about that time, was bought for $340. 

The Columbia Hose Company was established May ist, 1806, by persons 
residing in the neighborhood of Seventh and Cherry streets, who were friends and 
adherents of the Columbia Fire Company, which company gave to the hose 
company as soon as it was instituted, 80 feet of hose. The hose-house was 
established on the South side of Cherry street, above Seventh. In 18 to, a new 
carriage was procured bj' the company. It had upon it the device of an eagle 
with out-stretched wings, the use of which was considered by the Resolution 
Hose Company' as an infringement ; it having previously used that emblem. 

The three hose companies instituted, belonged to the City of Philadelphia; 
their success led to the institution of a new company to be located in the 
Northern Liberties. This association, which was called the Humane Hose 
Company, was instituted at a meeting held on the loth of April, 1805, at John 
Smith's tavern, sign of Gen. Washington, on Vine street. Conrad Hester was 
chairman, and Charles Sellers was secretary ; measures were taken for the 
formation of a company and the articles were signed. Subscriptions for the 
assistance of the company were liberal. A hose-carriage was contracted for 
with Patrick Lyon, it cost $.102 ; it was of box shape, with an oval front ; the 
name of the company was painted on the front by John A. Woodside. 500 feet 
of hose were also contracted for. By some arrangement with the Humane Fire 
Company, it was understood from the beginning that a house could be obtained 
adjoining that of the latter, upon the North side of Vine street, between Second 
and Third. The hose-house was 9 feet front and 15 feet deep, and cost ^24. 
The hose, which was of leather, was manufactured by Warren. The company 
met for some j^ears at Moulder's school-room, in one of the Norwich Markets, at 
the intersection of St. John and Callowhill street. In 1817, the old box hose- 
carriage was altered, and a hose-wheel and bells were added. The same year the 
Humane Hose Compan)' and the Humane Fire Company being obliged to move 
from the house on Vine street, built a wooden house at St. John and Wood 
streets ; the lot occupied by the two companies was 16 feet front by 20 feet 
deep. The Fire Company removed from that location in 1825, and went to the 
corner of Ann and Callowhill streets ; the Hose Company remained there 
until 1829. 

Between the hours of 2 and 3 a. m., on January 21st, 1806, Howland's 
tavern (near the- Permanent Bridge), West side of Schuylkill, was discovered to 


Soap Powder, 
Cracker Dust, 
Prepared Foods 

SiO., &c., <S;c., &c 

Paper * Folding t Boxes, 




N. E. Cor. Eighth and Tillow Streets, Philadelpliii. 



M. SCHNEOK, Proprietor. 


American Plan, $2.00 Per Day. <• •> •• 
♦ * European Plan— Rooms, 50c. and 75c. A Day. 

AH Railroad Stations and Steamboat Landings within convenient 

John S. L,owry. 

Edward S. Lowry, 

Chas. S Lowry 

John S. Lowry & Sons, 





Established 1845. 

Telephone No. 6413. 




Nom w or vmm stueet, scbutleili, 



be on fire ; the night was bitter cold, and the firemen had to cut holes through 
the ice to get water; but this process was so slow that the building was entirely 
consumed. The landlord, his wife and four children were rescued by the 
firemen; but their colored servant perished. The light from this fire could be 
seen over the entire city, and notwithstanding the bitter cold weather, the hour, 
and the slippery condition of the streets, over 5,000 people hurried to the fire, 
being very anxious about the safety of the bridge; but owing to the untiring 
efforts of the firemen, "and the favorable direction in which the wind blew, the 
structure was saved. 

Another fire of unusual extent broke out on Dock street, and by a curious 
coincidence, on May 9th, (the anniversary of the disastrous fire of 1791), in the 
same street. It began about 8 p. m., in a trunk-maker's shop on the North side 
between Third street and the Bank of Pennsylvania, and burned for two hours 
despite the combined efforts of the firemen and citizens. The flames travelled 
from where they originated, along Dock street to Third, and up the latter street 
nearly to Chestnut; Eastwardly, the fire was carried down Dock street to Goforth's 
alley, and up the latter to Carters' alley, and along Carters' alley to a point near 
Third street. Thirty-two buildings, about 20 of which were dwellings, were de- 
stroyed; the former inmates of which were seen running hither and thither crying 
bitterly; the men calling for their wives, and the women for their children. Some 
of the women would rush into their houses— now a mass of living flames — at 
the peril of their lives, and come out with some article scarcely worth picking 
up. Embers and sparks flew over a large area, setting fire to a 3 -story brick 
building, on Front street, and to vessels at anchor in the Delaware. The strong 
wind which was blowing from the West, carried them across the river, and the 
citizens of Camden were obliged to watch assiduously till the flames lessened. 
A meeting was called at the City Hall for the relief of the sufferers by the fire, 
many of whom were destitute; some had been injured by falling timbers and 
bricks, and a number had been severely burned; one of whom, Lewis Breimer, 
died the next day. John Inskeep presided, Thomas P. Cope was secretary, 
and sufficient was raised to care for the sick and relieve the necessities of the 

In February 1806, an alarm of an incendiary fire in Budd's alley, caused 
ofl&cial correspondence between Mayor Wharton and the Councils, and $500 
was offered for the capture of the villians. Anxiety to further protect the city 
continued for some time. In November, the Union and Hand-in-Hand Fire 
Companies urged additional protective measures, and also offered the city a 
bell. Common Council decided to hang it in the City Hall cupola, but Select 
Council refused to accept the gift and it was presented to St. James' Episcopal 
Church. This bell had a checkered career. In 1750, the fire companies gave 
it to the Academy on Fourth street, and it passed into the hands of the Univer- 
sity, but when that institution was removed to Ninth street, the authorities 
returned it to the firemen. 

Sometime prior to 1806, the South wark Engine Company was formed 
and was located on Almond street, near Front, none of the old records of this 
company could be found. 

Tlie Real Estate Title aim Trost Company 

Of Philadelphia. 

N. W. Cor. Tenth and Chestnut Streets. 

Capital, Full Paid - - 1,000,000 

Surplus and Undivided Profits 290,000 

This Company, Incorporated in 1876, originated title insur- 
ance, and having issued over 35,000 PoHcies, has accumu- 
lated information which enables it to execute work with 
unequalled accuracy and promptness. 

Also EXECUTES Trusts of every description. 
BECOMES surety for persons acting in fiduciary capacities. 
ISSUES its well-known 4^ per cent. Mortgage Trust Certificates, 
secured by first liens on property in Philadelphia only, taken 
largely by Trustees, Executors, and our most carefiil 

LOANS Money on Instalment Mortgages. 
RECEIVES Money on deposit subject to interest. 
RENTS Safes in its burglar proof vaults. 

BUYS AND SELLS Real Estate, and assumes the general 
Management Thereof 

JOSEPH L.CAVEN, President. CRAIG D. RITCHIE, Vice-President. 

JOSEPH MASON, Trust Officer. LEWIS S. RENSHAW. Sec. & Treas. 


Joseph L. Caven, Craig D. Ritchie, Chas. M. Lukens, 

S. Kingston McCay, Samuel T. Freeman, Charles Matlack, 

Wm. H. Shelmerdine, Robert N. Carson, Edward Samuel, 

W. Frederick Snyder, Howard A. Stevenson, Pierce Archer, 

Henry K. Fox, Alfred Moore, Holstein DeHaven. 


The Southwark Hose Company probably had its origin in the Southwark 
Fire Company. It is not certain whether the hose company succeeded to the 
rights of the fire company, or whether the name and objects of the latter were 
changed; the members of the hose company claim the date of its institution to 
be May 6th, 1806; the earliest minutes in possession of the company some years 
ago, commenced in 1807, at which time it possessed a hose-carriage built by 
Patrick Lyon, and a quantity of hose. The location of the hose-house was on 
the North side of Almond street, East of Front; the stated meetings were held 
for many years in James Crowell's school-room, in Shippen street below 
Second. The company was in possession of the engine of the Southwark 
Fire Company, and measures were taken to sell it in 1808, together with 
the house. A new carriage was presented to the company by Conrad Gurn, 
in 181 1. During the war of 181 2, a volunteer company was formed from the 
Southwark Hose Company, which was called the "First Independent Com- 
pany of Artillerists," James M. Linnard was captain. They served at 
Camp Bloomfield, Kennett Square, Chester County, in the campaign of 
1814. The hose-carriage became worn out in 1815, and one was borrowed 
for a time from the Fire Hose Association, which was composed only of com- 
panies located in the City of Philadelphia. The Southwark, belonging to an 
adjoining district, was not allowed to belong to that association, an exclusion 
which operated to the injury of the Southwark, as appropriations from City 
Councils and donations from insurance companies were frequently allowed to 
the Fire Hose Association, or to companies located in the City of Philadelphia. 
The corporation of Southwark would give no assistance, and, as the only means 
of sustaining the institution, it was recommended by a committee that the 
company should remove into the city, which was carried, and the City Commis- 
sioners gave the company the use of the Hall Building, at the Southeast corner 
of the Second-Street Market, at Second and South streets, but the members 
obtained the house at the other corner; the removal took place May 22, 1813. 
In the mean time, while the Commissioners of Southwark had been brought to 
such a point of generosity, that they made an appropriation of $100 for the use 
of the company; but finding that it had removed before the money was paid, a 
disposition was manifested to withhold it. Eventually the company received 
it, and it might be considered in satisfaction of all past services. Another 
appropriation of ;^i5o, however, was made in 1819, which came very acceptably 
in helping to defray the cost of a new hose-carriage, built by Jeffries & Nuttall, 
which cost $397. 

James Sellers, in 1806, invented a machine for greasing and brushing 

In 1807, the Neptune Hose Company having placed an alarm. bell on 
their carriage, the Philadelphia Hose Company passed a resolution stating that 
"we cannot but view with peculiar indignation the flagrant violation and con- 
tempt of our acknowledged rights." The Neptune paid no attention!^ to this 
expression of anger, and James P. Park, who originall}' applied the apparatus 
to the Philadelphia hose-carriage, took out a patent, described "for the 
attachment of an alarm-bell to a hose-carriage, or other vehicle for^ the 
conveyance of fire-apparatus." This patent was not received until November 


H FiiG ipaijcfi Company 



N. E. Cor. Chestnut and Seventli Streets, 


JANUARY 1. 1891. 




1809, when the compan}^ placed upon the bell apparatus a brass-plate, bearing 
the inscription, "Park's Patent Alarm." Mr. Park placed the price of using it 
at ;^5o, and suit was instituted against the Neptune Hose Company, which then 
yielded, took down its bell, and allowed the Philadelphia to monopolize the 
privilege of making a noise in the street. Three years afterward, the Good 
Intent Hose Compan)^ notwithstanding the terrors of a suit for the infringement 
of Park's Patent alarm, determined to use two bells on their carriage. They 
were suspended upon a gallows, and fixed upon springs similar to those of 
common house bells, an arrangement entirely different from that of Park's plan. 
The Philadelphia complained to the Fire Hose Association, which decided that 
the use of bells by the Good Intent was an interference with the peculiar badge 
of the Philadelphia, and directed that they should be removed from the carriage. 
The company refusing to obey this order, was expelled from the Fire Hose 
Association. Suit was brought in the United States Circuit Court by Mr. Park 
against the committee of the Good Intent which ordered the bells to be placed 
on the carriage. The case was heard before Judges Washington Peters, Joseph 
R. Ingersoll and Peter A. Browne being among the counsel. The defense 
contended that the principle of attaching bells, before Park's alarm, was used 
by the Philadelphia, but, being accidentally broken, they were not renewed. 
The Neptune had removed its bell because it was too expensive. The jury 
found for the defendants, and the Philadelphia resolved to abandon the right to 
use bells altogether, and by resolution informed the Fire Hose Association of 
that determination. The Good Intent was re-admitted to the Association, and 
as a token of triumph resolved to adopt two bells as the badge of the company? 
but the Philadelphia clung to the idea of a distinguishing badge in the form of 
a bell, and a new contrivance was adopted by which the motion of the wheels 
of the carriage raised a lever at regular intervals, which struck the bell as the 
carriage was dragged along the streets. The sound was diflferent from that of 
the ordinary bells, and when the improvement was finished the members of the 
Philadelphia felicitated themselves that at length they had a badge of 

In 1807, the hose-carriage seems to have had a cjdinder on which the 
hose was wound. The introduction of two rollers on the end of the carriage, in 
order to thoroughly expel the water from the hose was another improvement. 
In 1809, the committee reported that by dispensing altogether with the box-body 
of the carriage, and retaining only the wheel of the hose, the axles of that 
wheel passing through the larger wheels would make the latter a direct 
support for the hose ; the result wa.s the abandonment of the box, and the 
adoption of a plan by which the hose-wheel was supported on an open arch, 
sprung from standards or supports, resting upon a body fixed to the axle of the 

The Pennsylvania Fire Company was formed May 16, 1807, at a meeting 
of young men at Parker's Inn, and at subsequent meetings at Commissioner's 
Hall, which was in the old Court-house, at the centre of Market and Second 
streets. The members determined to wear sky-blue hats, with the Pennsylvania 
coat-of-arms painted thereon by John Justice; special exemption, however, 
being given to one member who was allowed to have his hat painted by John 




CiLPITA.lL., ^400,000.00. 

SURPLUS, S550,000.00. 


President^ Vice Prest. Cashier, 

J. A. McKEE, Assistant Cashier. 

f\ (ieperal Ba9l^i9<5 BiJ3i9^ss JraQ8a(;ted. 

Accounts of Banks and Bankers Received on Most Favorable Terms. 
Drafts Drawn on all the Principal Cities of the World. 

Travelers' Circular Letters of Credit Issued, Available Throughout the 



New York — American Exchange National Bank. 
Boston — Atlas National Bank. 

Baltimore — Farmers' and Merchants' National Bank. 
Chicago — Atlas National Bank. 

San Francisco— Weils, F^argo & Co. 

London — Samuel Montagu & Co. 

London — The City Bank, Limited. 
Paris — The Credit Lyonnais. 

Berlin — The Disconto Gesellschaft. 

Mexico — Banco Nacional y Mexico. 
Mexico — Banco Londres y Mexico. 

East Indies — Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. 

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. 


A. Woodside. A new engine was built by Patrick Lyon; it was painted yellow, 
and was decorated with the Pennsylvania coat-of-arms, and cost $750. It played 
56^3 yards, without the spray, and asserted by the company to be equal to any 
engine in Philadelphia. 

In February 1808, the directors of the Philadelphia Library Company 
granted to the Philadelphia Fire Company the right to put up a house on the 
Northwestern portion of a lot adjoining the library. They put up a building one 
story in height, and it was taken possession of in August of that year. In 1 819, 
this company procured a suction pump, made by Bacon, which was placed on 
wheels, and hose carried with it; the pump was stationed in a gutter, and sucked 
up the M^aste water from the engines. In December 1820, a new engine was 
procured of the first-class from Perkins & Bacon; it \:ost ^900, and played 206 
feet without the spray. Shortly afterward, a hydraution which carried 300 feet 
of hose was purchased. For this apparatus, the company gave the suction- 
pump and ^140 cash. A suction was attached to the hydraution in January 1823. 

The United States Hose Company was formed in September 1807, at a 
meeting of young men, when they procured sufficient money by subscription to 
buy T25 feet of hose. The Philadelphia Hose Company loaned them their old 
carriage. The new assoctation went into active service, and received from the 
County Commissioners the right to place their apparatus in the old^hose-house, 
on the Southeast corner of Sixth ansd Walnut streets, on the prison lot. They 
continued in active service about a year, after which the affairs of the company 
were neglected, and the association was finally dissolved. 

The exact date of the formation of the Phoenix Fire Company we have 
been unable to get. The first record of this association that we could find was 
a communication to the Southwark Fire Company in the latter part of 1808. At 
that time the company was located on St. James street, East of Seventh. Samuel 
Kennedy was president of this company in May 1818. Shortly afterwards the 
house of the company was removed to Beard street, near Arch, and the company 
was dissolved aboiit 1820. 

The American Fire Insurance Company, organized February 28th, 1810, 
was the first joint-stock fire insurance company in the United States. Its first 
president was Captain William Jones, a distinguished Naval officer, and after- 
wards Secretary of the Navy, under President Madison. The American was the 
earliest corporation of its kind to establish an agency business, which it did in 
the year of its organization. 

The fire department had proved efficient in times of need, and in June 
1 810, $1,000 was appropriated by the City Councils to the fire and hose 
companies, being, it is believed, the first time that a contribution had been 
made by the Councils for the support of the fire department. 

A disastrous fire occurred at Newburyport, Mass., also in June, and the 
loss was estimated at $2,000,000. A meeting of citizens was held at the 
Philadelphia City Hall, June 15th. Robert Ralston was chairman, and James 
Milnor was secretary. Committees were appointed in all the wards to solicit 
contributions, and a considerable amount of money was raised, which was 
forwarded to the sufferers. 


Pennsylvania Warehousinff and Safe Deposit Co. 

Banking House and (iciieral Office, 113 and 115 S. Third Street, 

Merchandise Stored in Bond or Duty Paid. Advances made on Merchandise Collateral. 
Money received on deposit subject to Check. Interest allowed on daily balances. 

Imported and Domestic Wines, DIITTpTinFTfBUnr DTI 

Liquors and Cigars. r/llli/lUhUrjil/l, r/l. 

Mi M. Funiril ilreel, 


REPAIRING OF ALL KINDS. N. W. Coi. Elgveiith Eiid FUbeit Sts., Phila. 

Culley's West Philadelphia and Haddington Express, 

238 IVIarUct St. 4072 Haverford St., lY. P. 5 N. Sevcntli St. 

CALL SLATES, 106^ 428 and 1229 MARKET STREET, 


T- :Bo:E^i2>Ta-:s:K, 

Wholesale and Retail Dealer in 



Fine Gold and Silver Watches, Clocks, Jewelry and Silverware. 


Repairing in all its branches done on the premises and guaranteed, 

Undkrtakkr and Embalmbr, 

2621 germantown avenue, philadelphia, pa. 

Open all Night. Chapel for Funerals. Telephone, No. 6140. 


An association, called the Protectors of Property From Fire, was formed 
before the month of December 1810, to guard property in case of fire. Their 
implements consisted of bags, buckets, and apparatus to take furniture, goods, 
etc., to a place of safety. The house of the company was established in 
Hartung's alley, South of Arch street, and East of Third. 

The Washington Hose Company was instituted February 22, 1811. The 
first hose-house of the company was situated on a lot granted by the University 
of Pennsylvania, on the West side of Ninth street below Market. Afterwards 
It was removed to the West side of Tenth street, at Filbert. 

In July 181 r, an experimental committee on the subject of hose, which 
had been appointed on account of the frequent bursting of sewed hose, reported 
in favor of the utility of rivet hose. The members of this com.mittee were 
Abraham L. Pennock, James Sellers and Isaac Wainwright, the two former being 
really the inventors of that kind of hose, afterwards obtaining a patent for it. A 
trial of one section of the hose, under the pressure of the hydrants and 
the full force of the Resolution Engine was found to be satisfactory, and before 
the end of the year 1811, the company had 800 feet of hose on the new plan. 
At first it was riveted with two seams, but it was soon found that one seam was 
sufficient. It was manufactured by Jenkin S. Jenkins & Sons, and was fastened 
with turned iron rivets and burrs. One of the difficulties attending the use of 
the rivets was that they were liable to rust, but in a short time rivets were used 
which did not tarnish. In 181 2, Sellers and Pennock invented a furnace for 
drying hose; it was in the shape of a tower, built of brick, and was filled with 
charcoal, which was fastened down. Fire \yas applied from below. The tower- 
furnace was carried up through a wooden steeple, in which the wet hose was 
hung, and was dried by the gradual heat. The original house, built for the use 
of the company was at No. i 7 North Fourth street, on a lot belonging to Reuben 
Haines, the structure cost ^870.19. Up to 1817, the meetings of the company 
had been held in the old Court-house, at Market and Second street. In April 
of that year they were changed to the hall of the Academy of Natural Sciences, 
No. 35 Arch street, and at a later period to No. 32 Church alley. Subsequently, 
they were held at No. 118 Chestnut street, corner of Carpenter's court. This 
company was the first in the city which introduced a tender to accompany 
a hose-carriage. A two-wheeled carriage was adopted, with capacity 
to carry 728 feet of hose, and in the minutes for March, 1820, it 
was for the first time styled a "tender." To accommodate the new apparatus, 
some alterations were necessary in the hose-house; the steeple was removed to 
the F^ast end, and so enlarged as to accommodate the engine company and the 
Philadelphia Hose Company. A lamp was ordered to be placed on the hose- 
carriage, so as to distinguish it; but this seemed to be a difficulty in the opinion 
of the committee. As a substitute, that body recommended the purchase of a 
machine invented by Coleman, to use this invention free of expense, reserving 
his own right to a patent. It is supposed to have been a wind instrument, 
which was put in operation by the revolution of the carriage-wheels. George 
Catlin made the machine, and, after some dispute as to what it was worth, he 
was paid $50. It is presumed that the apparatus was attached to the carriage, 
and hallooed "Fire !" whenever it was carried through the streets. It was soon 


[(atiopal Bai^l^, 








CAPITAL, 8600,000. SURPLUS, $100,000. 


George W. Blabon, Jacob G. DeTurck, 

William B. Scott, Philip Jagode, 

Simon B. Fleisher, George Fales Baker, M. D. 

John Sailer, James F. Sullivan, 

Charles H. Dungan, George W. Bremer, 

Charles J. Harrah, R. L. Austin, 

Nicholas Lennig. 


found that the tender was a troublesome affair, and the plan was suggested of 
placing the hose on the engine. This idea led to the invention by Sellers & 
Pennock of what was first called a combined apparatus, afterwards designated a 
hydraution; and to meet this change, the company resolved to sell the engine 
and tender, which were sold to the Globe Fire Company — the engine bringing 
I500. The hydraution was finished and placed in the engine-house in February 
1 82 1, and a suction supply-pump was bought for $40, which was generally 
managed at fires by boys. The hydraution was a heavy machine-', but was 
ornamental, and was distinguished by figures of dolphins at the corners of the 
gallery; they were in gilt; and to the motto, ''Prodesse Civibtts," was given due 

The United States Fire Company was formed at a meeting held at Kennedy's 
Hotel, Letitia court, October 29, i8ii. The object of the establishment of the 
company was for the security of the Northeastern quarter of the city and the 
Liberties. The meetings of the company were removed, in November to 
Simpson's school-room. Second below Margaretta street. The Commissioners 
of the Northern Liberties granted the company the right to occupy the house 
of the Bridge, on Second street, above Callowhill. At the same time the 
Northern Liberty Company had its house on Poole's Bridge on Front street. 
An engine, built by Patrick Lyon, was procured in the latter part of 181 2. The 
company bought a lot of ground in 1819, on the West side of Fourth street, 
North of the intersection of Old York Road. The lot had fronts upon two streets, 
and upon it was erected a substantial two-story brick building with a cupola 
and bell; this house was occupied by the company on the nth of Sep- 
tember, 18 19. 

On the 7th of September, 1815, water flowed for the first time from the 
pipes connected with the Fairmount Water- Works. Previously the water 
was supplied by the works on Chestnut street — which fact, although hose had 
come into general operation, served to render the use of fire-buckets a necessity 
as a means of assiting the working of the hose — but with the establishment of 
the Fairmount Works, the pressure was so much increased that the use of fire- 
buckets was unnecessary. 

The Niagara Fire Company was instituted after the close of the war with 
Great Britain, and it is believed to have been composed in majority of members, 
of the Second Company of Washington Guards, of which John Swift was 
captain. Mr. Swift resigned from the Philadelphia Hose Company in January, 
1818, to join the Niagara Company. The house occupied by the company on 
Zane street, above Seventh, was built on speculation by a carpenter. There 
was room enough in it for two fire companies, and the Phoenix Hose Company 
was co-tenant with the Niagara; the property was sold, and was bought by the 
Phoenix. Niagara removed from the premises in 1822, sold the apparatus, and 
the company was dissolved. 

In December 181 6, the Diligent Fire Company appointed delegates to 
co-operate in any movement toward forming a general association of fire com- 
panies. A convention was held in which several companies were represented, 
and a Constitution was adopted. A charter was applied for to the Legislature, 
but owing to opposition of some old insurance companies, it was defeated, 

kannati Past Ffeighl Line and Florida Despalch Line, ffom PJiiladelphia 


Ocean Steamsliip Company, to Savannah. 


Connecting at Savannah with the Central Railroad of Oeorg-ia and Savannah, Florida 
and Western Railway and Connections. 

THROIHtJH bills of LADINCtJ issued to points in dJeorgia, Sonth Carolina Florida, 
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, 
Nebraska and Utaii. 

Insurance eftected at one-fifth of one per cent. Steamers sail from Pier 41 (Foot of Queen 
St.), Philadelphia, at 12 o'clock, noon. No passengers taken by this line. 

PASSAGE TICKETS VIA NEW YORK, including fare from Philadelphia to New Yoik, 
may be had on application at the Office of the Company, 13 South Third Street, Philadelphia. 

For Freight Rates, Bills of Lading, and full particulars, apply to 

WM. L. JAMES, Acent, 

12 South Third Street, Philadelphia. 

When Dissatisfled 

With Your Work 

1223 Colobia kn, 

Try : : 


1223 Cokbia Ave, 

BolDg up Lace Curtains a Speclaltr. 

Ooodi Called for and Delivered Free of Charge. 

C. T. 3iv^II-I_.EI3. 


OF ^ 

Shorthand And Typewriting, 

1006 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 

A system of shorthand easy to learn, rapid to write, and, better than 
all, can be read when written. 

In Typewriters your choice: Remington, Hammond, Smith-Premier 
and Caligraph (fifty). 

Students begin at any time, day or evening, receive individual atten- 
tion and have experience in actual work. Catalogue and trial week 


Business Men are supplied with Stenographers. 

Typewriter Copying and Mimeograph Work at Reasonable Rates. 

Reporting of all kinds. Get Our Estimate. 


Great indignation ensued, and the question was carried into the elections. In 
1 819, a ticket for members of the Assembly was resolved upon at a public 
meeting, to be supported as a fireman's ticket. It was made up of nominees 
from both the Democratic and Federal tickets. Some of the companies opposed 
this movement; others were strongl}' in its favor. The political parties at that 
time were nearly matched; the leading Democratic candidate received 2277 
votes; the leading Federalist, 2315, while the Fireman's ticket was carried by 
votes ranging from 2,519 up to 3,000. Only one of the Fireman's candidates 
was defeated, a person who was not popular. Four out of the five delegates to 
the Legislature from the city were carried by the firemen and at the next meeting 
of the L/Cgislature the Fire Associatien was chartered. 

In Januar}^ 1816, a meeting of Firemen was called at the County Court- 
house to form a Firemen's Benevolent Institution. The project failed, but from 
the discussion which resulted came a proposition to establish a Fire Association, 
which was partly a controlling body for the regulations of the interests of fire 
companies, and partly an insurance company. 

The city firemen met in July 1817, and declared "there are now in the 
city and L,iberties, thirty-four engines and 15,000 feet of hose under the direction 
of forty-nine companies, and these companies are all willing to receive new 
members. It is asked that the Councils will pass an ordinance to prevent the 
use of water from the plugs, except under license from the city government." 
The Fame Hose Company was instituted January i, 1817. Among the 
original members were Edward Irving, Samuel P. Griffiths, Jr., and H. M. 
Tucker, who were appointed a committee, on the 9th of March of that 5^ear, to 
procure a hose-house. They obtained from the County Commissioners the use 
of the house at the Southeast corner of Walnut and Sixth streets, at the Walnut 
Street Prison, but did not remain there long, having been successful in obtaining 
from the Philadelphia library Company the use of a lot of ground adjoining the 
house of the Pennsylvania Fire Company, a house was built there for the use of 
Fame, and a plan was fixed upon by which the fronts of the two houses were 
made uniform in appearance. 

The Pennsylvania Hose Company was established July, 1817; Dennis P. 
Whelan, president, and William Kennedy, secretary. At that time, an 
application was made to the Pennsylvania Fire Company for a donation of old 
torches which was complied with. 

The Phoenix Hose Company was established on the 25th of August, 1817, 
by ten young men. They obtained a location for their apparatus in the house 
of the Niagara Fire Company, on the North side of Zane (Filbert) street, above 
Seventh. A hose carriage was procured, and a badge was painted on the front 
by Woodside, which was directed to be "a phoenix rising from the flames, on a 
blue relief, surmounted by a gilt or white scroll, with the name of the company 
inserted, and a gilt star." In March 1820, a committee, appointed for the 
purpose, reported in favor of obtaining a combined apparatus, uniting the 
properties of a hose-carriage and an engine. It was built by Sellers. Upon 
trial in 1820, the engine played 153 feet, through the branch-pipe attached to a 
ten-foot section of double-rivet hose. In December 1820, the company bought 
the house which it had occupied on Zane street, above Seventh, from the 

Capital, |ti, 

Surplus, $1,500,000. 

The Plilanelpma Trust Safe Deposit aim ipraoce CompaQy, 

Fire and Burglar-rroof Marble Front Brick Building. 

413. 415 and 417 CHESTMUT ST. 

The Company has various Branches of Business, 7chich may briefly be stated as/ollorvs, viz: 

Certificates for the deposit 


Renting of safes of all sizes in its vaults. 
Receiving of Special Deposits of securities and valuables, 
of wills issued without cliarge. 

III. Receiving of Money Deposits, upon which interest is allowed. 

IV. Collection of Income under Attorneyship and Agency. 

V. Executions of Trusts of every description, wliether as Executor, Administrator, Trustee, 
Guardian, Assignee, Receiver or Committee; also, becoming surety upon indemnity 
being provided. 

An Inspuction of the Oouipany'a Building and Appurtenances is nspectfully invited. 

J. Livingston Erringer, 
R. P. McCullagh, 
Benjamin B. Comegys, 
Augustus Heaton, 

Alexander Brown, 
James M. Aertsen, 
Daniel B. Cummins, 
William S. Grant, 

William Weightman, 
William Henry Trotter, 
William L. DuBois, 
John Story Jenks, 
Chailes H. Banes. 

President,]. L. Erringer 

Vice-President, Benjamin B. Comegys, 

Secretary and Treasurer, William L. DuBois. 

Assistant Treasurer, Edmund D. Scholey. 

Assistant Secretary, George J. Garde. 

T .Ei E 

Mechanics' ^^ Insurance ^^ Company 



Company's Building, 50O Walnut Street, 

Charles J. Gallagher, President. Simon J. Martin, Secretary. 


Niagara Fire Company; the latter removed from the premises before May 1822, 
at which time the Phcenix resolved to construct a new house, three stories in 
height, which it was estimated could be done for $1,000. Actually, it cost with 
the furniture, $2,349.88, and the company was greatly embarrassed by the debt 
for some j^ears. 

The Charitable, Venerable, Defiance and Junior Fire Companies were in 
service in 1817; they were probably new companies, they did not last long. The 
Junior was in service in 1818; the Humane Fire Company, No. 2, and the 
Independence Fire Company in 1819, and the Spring Garden Engine Company 
in 1820. 

In 1818, there was great excitement among the members of the fire and 
hose companies in consequence of an attempt to form a company compo.sed of 
persons of color. Some of the latter had formed a comi^iuy called the African 
Fire Association. Derrick Johnson was president, and Joseph Allen, secretar3\ 
A committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions. When knowledge of this 
attempt came to the members of the companies then in existence (their attention 
was called to it by circulars), the appointment of committee of conference was 
solicited. A meeting was held July 9th, at Stell's tavern. Joseph P. McCorkle 
was called to the chair, and Robert P. Oertsen was appointed secretary. The 
following companies were represented : Delaware, Neptune, Union, Phoenix, 
Friendship, Niagara, United States, Hibernia, Weccaccoe, Junior, Fellowship, 
Fame and Franklin Fire Companies; Good Intent, Perseverance, Resolution, 
Fame, Phoenix, Neptune, Columbia, Franklin, Hope, Humane, Wa.shington and 
Southwark Hose Companies. This meeting passed a resolution that— ^— 

"The formation of fire-engine and hose companies by persons of color 
will be productive of serious injury to the peace and safety of citizens in time 
of fire, and it is earnestly recommended to the citizens of Philadelphia to give 
them no support, aid or encouragement in the formation of their companies, as 
there are as many, if not more companies already existing than are necessary at 
fires properly supported." 

A committee was appointed by this meeting to wait on the proper 
authorities, and requested them to prevent the African Company from opening 
the fire-plugs. At a sub.sequent meeting, held July 13th, additional representa- 
tives were present from the Pennsylvania, Diligent, Amicable, Columbia, 
Vigilant, Resolution and Hope Engines, and the Philadelphia Hose Company. 
The committee appointed at the former meeting, reported that the chairman of 
the Watering Committee of Councils had said that that body had no discretion 
on the subject; the ordinance directing them to grant a license to any fire 
association applying for the use of tbe plugs in time of fire. A petition to the 
Councils was therefore recommended. Meanwhile, same persons of color who 
foresaw, in the agitation which this matter had created, that trouble would be 
likely to ensue to themselves and their race, met at the house of George Jones. 
James Forten was chairman, and Russell Parrott was secretary. A resolution 
was adopted, expressing the regret of the meeting that 

"A few young men of color had contemplated the establishment of a fire 
or hose association, and although the same may have emanated from a pure 
and laudable desire to be of effective service in assisting to arrest the progress 

* MEN'S * 


N. E. Cor. South and Filtli Streets, 


:E:sT^( iT^sa. 





Nos. 222 and 224 North Second Street, 

No. 17 South William Street, 








SAMUEL DUNLAP, Asst. Engineer, 1st District. 


of the destructive element, we cannot but thus publicly enter our protest against 
the proposed measure, which we conceive would be hostile to the happiness of 
people of color, and which, as soon as known to us, we made eyery effort to 
repress. Should it be carried into effect, we cannot but consider that it will be 
accompanied with unhappy consequences to us. Therefore, we sincerely hope 
that supporters of the contemplated institution, and such as might wish to be 
concerned, will relinquish all ideas of the same." 

This remonstrance, together with the opposition of the fire companies 
produced its eftect. The members of the African Fire Association met on the 
19th of July, and after passing a resolution of regret at the "erroneous 
construction put upon their undertaking," and desiring to vindicate themselves 
from unjust imputations, and to "assert the rectitude of their intentions, as they 
were influenced solely by a wish to make themselves useful," declared that 
they "did not expect dissatisfaction, or they would not have progressed so far." 
It was, therefore, resolved to dissolve the company, and to return the subscrip- 
tions to the citizens who made them. 

All of the engines used by the various fire-companies before 1752, with 
the exception of the Vigilant, founded on January 2, 1760, used engines im- 
ported from England. After this date they were very generally manufactured in 
Philadelphia. Between 1 768 and 1 801 , Richard Mason, a native of Pennsylvania, 
made engines for the Northern Liberty, Queen Charlotte, Vigilant, Hibernia, 
Hand-in-Hand, Delaware, Assistance and Diligent Fire Companies, and probably 
many others. Richard Mason introduced the form of engines working at the 
ends, which were different from the side-lever engines usually made. Philip 
Mason, a son of Richard, was also an extensive manufacturer. Between 1775 
and 1 801, he built engines for the Washington, Columbia, Hope, Harmony, 
Philadelphia and Weccaccoe P'ire Companies. Samuel Briggs built engines for 
the Federal and Northern Liberty Fire Companies, but they were not a success. 
These engine-builders were soon superseded by the famous locksmith, Patrick 
L,yon, who, about 1794, invented a new and improved fire-engine, which he 
announced would throw more water than any others, and with a greater force. 
As an engine-builder, he did not gather any reputation until 1803. In 1799, the 
Washington Fire Company decided on Philip Mason as a builder, in preference 
to Lyon, by a vote of 2 to i . In 1803, Lyon made machines for the Philadelphia 
and Good Will Fire Companies. After that time, he built engines for the 
Pennsylvania, United States, Philadelphia, Good Will, Hand-in-Hand, Good 
Intent, Diligent and Washington Fire Companies, and for various cities and 
towns in the United States; the last of which we have any account, was built for 
the Reliance Fire Company, and was finished about July 1854. His engine built 
for the Diligent Fire Company, in 1820, was accounted his masterpiece. 

James Sellers invented a machine, after the plan of Rountree, of London, 
for the Pennsylvania Fire Company, which was afterwards called a hydraution. 
Subsequently this variety of fire-engine was built for the Pennsylvania, Phila- 
delphia and Vigilant Fire Companies, and the Philadelphia and Phoenix Hose 
Companies; they were built by Merrick & Agnew, by Perkins & Bacon, and by 
John Agnew. Sellers & Pennock built a few engines, one for the Harmony 
Fire Company in 1820. Perkins & Jones built one for the Harmony in i8i6, on 
the plan of Joseph M. Truman. 


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The first hose-carriages — square boxes on wheels — were made by Patrick 
Lyon, who built many of them during the twenty years which succeeded their 
introduction in Philadelphia. Philip Mason and Joshua Bickham also made 
hose- carriages while the box-shape was retained. The reel, on which to wind 
the hose, was first adopted by the Pennsylvania Fire Company, and by the 
Resolution and Humane Hose Companies. Tbe arched carriage, on which the 
hose-reel was sustained, is believed to have been introduced by the Phoenix 
Hose Company, about 1818. It was a great improvement. Thomas Ogle built 
a carriage for the Resolution Hose Company on this plan, and others were 
constructed by Jeffries & Nuttall. The Neptune Hose Company, in 181 8, had 
a carriage built with three wheels, one before, and two behind; the hind wheels 
had cogs, which could be attached to the hose-cylinder; this carriage frequently 
upset in turning corners. A carriage built in 1821, for the Resolution Hose 
Company, by Thomas Ogle, was probably an open-arched carriage, as it was 
undoubtedly the first spring hose-carriage made in this city. A committee had 
been appointed by the company to inquire whether springs could not be 
advantageously used. They examined the "Cyclopedia" on the subject, and 
reported favorably. Their plan was adopted, with instructions "to lower the 
front wheels and raise the cylinder, so as to permit the front wheels to turn 
under the carriage," a direction which makes it very reasonable to suppose that 
there was no box to interfere with the concussion of the running-wheels and 
and hose-reel. The Resolution Hose Company appears to have paid particular 
attention to the subject of springs, having, in 1821, first introduced spring 
carriages. The same company, in 1847, adopted the plan of W. Mason, a 
member, by which semi-elliptic springs are placed under the lockers, and semi- 
elliptic springs at the sides extending from axle to axle. The combined action of 
these springs makes the carriage easy and exceedingly light in its movements. 
The America Hose Company, in 1837, adopted a carriage planned by Greer, 
with springs working in the lockers. This carriage was built by R. E Nuttall, 
and was in use until 1845. The Philadelphia Hose Company, in 1829, had a 
machine called "The Twins," being a double hose-carriage. The Southwark 
Hose Company, in 1828, procured one carriage with two cylinders, which were 
found upon trial to be very inconvenient and troublesome. In 1840, the 
Resolution tried the plan of a stationary carriage, with the cylinder on springs, 
which was not found to work as satisfactorily as had been imagined. 

A company called the Independent Fire Company was in existence before 
January 14, 181 9. 

The Good Intent was the second fire company established in the district 
of Kensington. It was formed April 26, 1819, at a meeting held at Isaac 
Boileau's school-room, John Wood, chairman; and Isaac Boileau, secretary. A 
wooden house was erected on the lot at Prince street and Frankford road, which 
belonged to Mr. Camac, and an engine costing $1,000 was bought of Patrick 
Lyon, July 13, 1820. The company also had a bucket-carriage. 

The Franklin Hose Company was established before 1819, and stood on 
the East side of Eighth street, between Cherry and Race. It was nick-named 
at onetime the "Bootmakers' Company," and it was asserted that the hose was 
made of boot-legs. Jeffries & Nuttall built a carriage for the company in 181 9, 

The^liapo-Glein EleVai^op Co. 


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which the members of that firm would not deliver until paid for. The Hope 
Hose Company bought it, and the Franklin may be considered by that 
circumstance to have gone out of service. 

On the 9th of March, 1819, the Masonic Temple was destroyed by fire, 
caused, as was supposed by a curtain catching fire from a gas-jet. At this time 
gas was just being introduced in this city — in fact, the Masonic Temple was the 
only public building in the city lighted with gas, when the hall was built. In 
1822, the Grand Lodge erected a new gas works. As the new Chestnut-Street 
Theatre was also being built, about the same time, it is probable that the 
petition presented by the Grand Lodge, in 1822, asking permission to lay pipes 
on streets, to furnish other consumers than themselves, was principally 
governed by an expectation of furnishing light to the theatre. Councils refused 
the privilege asked for, and the theatre was not supplied, and predictions were 
freely made that gas as an illuminator would soon go out of use. There was 
about this period, a tavern on Second street near Dock, called the "Gaslight 
Tavern," which was the only other building illuminated in that way. 

In June, 1819, an Act of Assembly was passed which placed upon the 
County of Philadelphia, liabilitj^ for the payment of damages in case of the 
destruction of property by mobs or riots. The losses on property destroyed in 
riots before this time were borne by the owners. There was no provision for 
compensation. The act allowing on inquiry into the circumstances of the 
destruction of Robb's Row, and the payment of damages thereon was the first 
attempt to make the community responsible for the preservation of peace, in after 
years, the operation of this law was found to be important. A large amount of 
valuable property was destroyed in various riots, the most noted of which was 
the burning of Pennsylvania Hall in 1838, and during the Native American riots 
of 1844-45. In the year 1837, the societies for promoting the abolition of slavery 
had become sufiiciently established to require some better means of enforcing 
their peculiar doctrines than had yet been allowed them. It was almost 
impossible for them to obtain places for holding their meetings without difi&culty, 
and some of the leading persons of the part}' determined that they would have 
a hall of their own. A large lot of ground at the Southwest corner of Sixth and 
Haines streets, below Race, was purchased by a joint stock company, the 
members of which were chiefly abolitionist. Upon this ground they built a fine 
and capacious building, which they dedicated to free discussion, and called 
Pennsylvania Hall, the lot was 62 feet front, by ioq feet deep. The building 
was 42 feet high. vStores, ofiices and committee-rooms occupied the first story; 
the second story was the grand meeting saloon, occupying the entire width and 
length of the building, and having capacious galleries; it was estimated that 
3,000 persons could be accommodated with seats in that hall. The fixtures and 
furniture were in good taste. For purposes of public meetings, the building was 
more complete than any that had yet been constructed. While this edifice was 
being built there was some unfavorable comment in regard to its proposed uses, 
but they did not go so far as to recommend any violence or destruction. The 
daj' of the dedication of the hall was the 14th of May. In anticipation of the 
occasion there was a gathering of men and women abolitionists from all parts 
of the country. The exercises of dedication were principally an oration by David 


General IVIanagfer. 


Sec'y aud Treasurer. 

15' ' • Its'; • IS'.' • IIS' : • ais' : • mw: • is' : • ats' ; • ass' • jiis' ; • jm^; • bb'; • au' ; • as'; • i 


Paul Brown, it was not strongly abolitionist. He expressed himself in favor of 
the abolition of slavery, but was not willing to go the whole length of urging 
immediate abolition. On the day of the dedication, it was announced that the 
hall had not been erected for anti-slavery purposes alone, but that it would be 
consecrated to any purpose not of an immoral character. In the afternoon of 
the first day, there was a public meeting in the hall, held by the Philadelphia 
Lyceum, at which essays were read on social and scientific subjects. In the 
evening there was a temperance meeting. On the next day the abolitionists 
occupied the meeting-rooms, and debated the subjects of Free Discussion, 
Indian Wrongs, Colonization and the address of David Paul Brown at the 
dedication of the hall, which did not suit the leading abolitionists. In the 
afternoon, the Philadelphia Lyceum again occupied the hall with the reading of 
scientific essays and papers. In the evening there was held an abolition meeting, 
at which George Ford, Jr., of Lancaster; Alvin Stuart, of Utica, N. Y. ; Alanson 
St. Clair, of Mass., and others delivered speeches. During these two days the 
hall was crowded, and on the streets leading to it there were throngs of persons 
pressing towards the building. Among these were people of color, who were 
admitted freely without distinction, and sat among the audience, not being 
particularly assigned to any reserved space set aside for "people of color." 
Among the throngs passing along the streets, the white abolitionists and the black 
walked frequently in company with each other, and on friendly terms. It was 
reported that white men and black women, and black men and white women 
walked arm-iti arm. These statements, whether true or false, had much to do 
with what followed. A rising hostility against the building and its occupants 
began to be manifested. If the opening services had been confined to the 
meetings of the first and second days, leaving an interval during which the 
hall was closed, the excitement would have probably died away. But the parties 
owning the hall, or interested in its management, strongly insisting upon the 
right of free discussion, determined to maintain their own privilege without 
regard to the feelings or prejudices of others. On the evening of the 15th, 
written placards were posted in diflferent parts of the city which stated, "A 
convention to effect the immediate emancipation of the slaves throughout the 
country, is in session in the city, and it is the duty of citizens who entertain a 
proper respect for the Constitution of the Union and the right of property not to 
interfere." It was suggested that citizens should assemble at Pennsylvania 
Hall on the next morning, Wednesday, May i6th, and demand the immediate 
dispersion of said convention. There was a meeting in the hall at the time 
designated, and with a discussion upon "Slavery and its Remedy." "The Anti- 
Slavery Convention" of American women occupied the lecture-room, and the 
"Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society" met in the afternoon. In the evening 
there was an abolition meeting at which William Lloyd Garri.son, Maria H. 
Chapman and Abbey Kelley, of Boston, spoke. 

There had been no serious demonstration about the hall in the morning, 
but at night, persons, evidently of riotous disposition, were in the streets and 
some within the hall, hissing and hooting the speakers. Stones were thrown 
from the streets, and some of the upper windows broken. In consequence of 
these demonstrations, the meeting was brought to a close much sooner than had 



Hats, Caps 



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been expected. The managers of the Pennsylvania Hall notified the Mayor of 
the city, next day of the manifestations that had been made, stating the 
character of the meetings that were held, and were yet to be held, and that 
they requested protection for themselves and property. The Mayor endeavored 
to persuade the managers of the hall to give up the night meetings, but they, 
insisting upon their rights as citi/'-ens to hold them, refused to comply. If they 
had done so, the after-results would probably have been different. Toward the 
'evening of the tyth, crowds began to assemble near the hall; harangues were 
made by excited persons. The managers by this time had become somewhat 
alarmed. They assembled in the hall about six o'clock, and after consultation 
it was decided to close the building and give the Mayor, John Swift, the key. 
Repairing to the street, the latter made a speech to the crowd with applause. 
There were about 300 people present, and some of them went away. But 
knowledge of the occurrences of the previous day, and curiosity were bringing 
persons to the vicinity from all parts of the city ; the crowd became so dense that it 
substantially occupied Sixth street, from Arch to Race, with portions of Cherry 
street, Cresson's alley and other neighboring avenues. It was not long after 
dark before all the public lamps in the neighborhood were extinguished. vSome 
persons, with a scantling or long timber, began to batter against the centre 
doors of the building in front. The Mayor with a force of police came upon the 
scene, and obtained passage through the crowd, nearly to the place where the 
destroyers were at work. Very few, if any, citizens rallied to the support of 
the Mayor. Before long, the police were assaulted and knocked down and 
bruised. By this time, the doors had been broken open, and two of the police 
force entered the building. On reaching the main saloon, they found that 
fires had been kindled in three places. Short work had been made of the 
Venetian blinds, which were new and freshly-painted, and in condition to burn 
easily; the gas-pipes had b;en broken, and the gas was leaking out into the 
room, ready to assist the flames. The police were then compelled to 
withdraw. About the same time, the Anti-Slavery office which was 
in the first story was broken open, and the books, pamphlets, etc., thrown in 
the street. The flames soon attained headway and became furious. Firemen 
who repaired to the scene upon the alarm being given were deferred by threats 
from playing upon the hall, but were permitted to direct their efforts to the 
protection of adjoining property. In a short time the destruction was complete. 
The interior of the building down to the cellar was destroyed. The walls had 
been substantially built, and might have stood the force of the conflagration, 
but under the effect of the water and fire the granite pillars on Sixth street, which 
sustained the front, from the second story up, crumbled away, and the whole 
front came down. The managers of the hall association estimated their loss at 
$100,000, and commenced proceedings against the County of Philadelphia to 
recover compensation. The jury of inquiry, to which the matter was referred, 
reported, in 1841, that the loss amounted to $33,000; the value of the lot which 
remained might have been $10,000 or $15,000. The excitement did not 
terminate with the destruction. 

On the next evening, the Shelter for Colored Orphans, a quiet and 
unobtrusive establishment, managed by the members of the Society of Friends, 





Capital, .... $ 400,000.00 

InsuraiKc Reserve, - . 1,770,232.40 

Unpaid Losses, Dividends, etc. . 57,787.05 

Net Surplus, - . . 985,210.95 

Total Assets, Jan. 1st, 1891, - $3,213,230.40 

;JAS. W. McAllister, President. 

FRANCIS P. STEEL, Vice-President. 

GEO. F. REGER, 2nd Vice-Pres't. 

EZRA T. CRESSON, Secretary. 

SAMUEL W. KAY, Ass't Secretary. 

JAMES w. McAllister, geo. fales baker, m. d. 







and situated on Thirteenth street, above Callowhill, was attacked by a mob 
composed of comparatively few persons. They obtained an entrance to the 
building and set fire to it. The firemen again appeared; efforts to intimidate 
them were resorted to with the intention of preventing them from playing on the 
fire and saving the property. At this time there was some resistance; Morton 
McMichael, police magistrate of the district, called upon the citizens to aid him, 
and the firemen rallied to his assistance. The Good Will Fire Company was 
working strenuously to save the building; the members turned in under 
McMichael, and cleared out the rioters without ceremony, so that the building 
was saved, which was afterwards used for the original charitable purpose for 
some 3'ears. These excesses were denounced with great strength of language 
in the Public Ledger newspaper; the expressions were so strong, that some 
manifestations of hostility were made in the neighborhood of the office of that 
paper, at the Northwest corner of Dock and Second streets, for two or three 
evenings. The police force was now under much better control and manage- 
ment than on previous occasions, and the men were well-disposed for the 
prevention of disturbance. The excitement in the neighborhood continued for 
two or three days but there were no violent manifestations. 

The Schuylkill Hose Company was organized and in operation before 
1820. In the latter year, some of the members united with former members of 
the Franklin, in a demand upon the Philadelphia Fire Company for hose which 
the latter had bought of one of the members. The Philadelphia resisted on the 
ground that the Schuylkill as well as the Franklin had been dissolved. 

The Penn Township Hose Company rented the hall of the Columbia Fire 
Company, in 1820, and continued to meet there until August 1824. It was in 
active service during all the time. 

In March 1820, John K, Kane and Dr. Benjamin Say, invented a 
contrivance for conducting water from a pump into the hose. They called it a 
"conductor." This contrivance was adopted by some of the companies. 

The Spring Garden Fire Company was in service before May 1820. 

The Globe Fire Company was organized at B. Hutchinson's tavern, in 
Kensington, May 22, 1820. William Fitler was elected president, Samuel 
Salter, secretary; and John Sanderson, treasurer. The company received its 
name in compliment to the Globe Mills. John Holmes, a member, belonged to 
the firm of Craig, Holmes & Co., proprietors of the mills, and there is reason to 
believe that many of the members were employees in that factory. The engine 
house was of wood, two stories high, and was occupied in the second story for 
the purposes of a school by Rev. William Metcalfe, of the Bible Christian 
Church. It cost $450, the engine cost $500. The Globe Bucket Company was 
given permission, in July 1821, to put its bucket-carriage in the engine-house. 

The Diligent Hose Company was established June 3, 1820, and the 
apparatus was located in the neighborhood of Eleventh and Vine streets. It is 
probable that the organization sprang from the Diligent Bucket Company, a 
portion of the members of which united in the establishment of the hose 
company. Shortly after it was founded, the bucket company made a donation 
of ^10 to the hose company— showing, at least a sympathy between the two 
organizations. A committee was appointed in February 1824, to obtain ground 






Direct Importers, Frencli, German * * 
* * * and English Productions. 

Chestnut and Thirteenth Streets. 

Incorporated July nth, 1887. 

l^app * Dru0 ^^ompapy, 

of # pl7iladelpl7ia. 

Drugs, Chemicals, Patent Medicines, 

Pharmaceutical Preparations, &c. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

L. HASSELL LAPP, - - - General Manager. 


for an engine-house, and it was ordered not to go below Eighth street, nor below 
Arch, but in 1825, the order was modified, and directions were given to the 
committee to seek a lot from the owners of the Farmers' Brewery, Tenth below 
Filbert streets, which they succeeded in doing. 

The Point Pleasant Fire Company was in existence before July 1820, and 
its place of service was at Point Pleasant, Kensington, on the Delaware River, 
near the mouth of Cohocksink Creek. 

The Fairmount Fire Company was established in the district of Spring 
Garden, February 22, 1823. On the dissolution of the Whale Fire Company of 
the city, the engine of that association — a large and powerful machine — was 
purchased by the Commissioners of Spring Garden for the protection of citijjens 
of that section. The possession of this apparatus led to the formation of a fire 
company to manage it, and in that way the Fairmount originated. The original 
members were young men, a large proportion qf them being butchers, and their 
peculiarities furnished much amusement to the members of other companies, 
and were the subjects of jests, which were long remembered and renewed 
by fresh recitals. The original house of the Fairmount was on the Ridge road, 
North of Wood street. East side. 

An association called the Hibernia Hose Company was in operation in 
in March 1823, and had its stand in Walnut street, between Front and Second. 
It was not long in existence. 

On May 9, 1824, there was a fire in the Northern L,iberties, on Third 
street, near Brown, and nearly thirty houses were destroyed. That corporation 
had refused to use Schuylkill water, and the citizens had voted against it on 
several occasions. Their economy was now found to be enormously expensive. 
On June 30th, 1830, a fire broke out in the stable of Mr. Halsey, in the 
block bounded by Henry, Walnut and Madison streets, The flames spread 
with great rapidity, and in one hour not less than twenty houses were on fire. 
The progress of the flames was not stopped until thirty buildings were 

On the 14th day of October, 1832, the day of election, between Jackson 
and Clay for the Presidency of the United States, Philadelphia was the scene of 
the greatest excitement. In Moyamensing, the citizens voted for the first time 
at the Commissioners' Hall, Christian street, between Ninth and Tenth. There 
was some disturbance in the evening at one of the voting-windows between rival 
partisans, which resulted in scuffling and blows. The Jackson men in Moya- 
mensing were at the time in the minority. They were driven away from the 
polls. The fight was shifted to the East of the hall, where the Jackson 
headquarters were held in two tents, in front of which was a hickory pole; this 
was the end of the disturbance at that time; but news of the circumstances 
having been carried to the polls at Southwark, a large number of persons went 
over to Moyamensing, and a Jackson delegation, marching down from the 
Northern lyiberties, joined the crowd. The new-comers reinforced the Jackson's 
of Moyamensing greatly, and methods of revenge and retribution were 
determined upon. Opposite the hall, at the Northeast corner of Christian and 
Montcalm streets, stood the Whig headquarters, a three-story brick house, in 
front of which was a tall liberty pole. The mob, in revenge for the cutting- 

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aERM^NTTowjsr avenue: 



Novelty •: Electric v Company, 

50-52-54 N. Fourth Street, (Above Market.) 

Manufacturers and Dealers in Every Description of 


Estimates furnished foi* Electric Light, Burglar 

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The Champion Truss, 

Elastic Stockings, 


Shoulder Braces, 

and Suspensory Bandages. 

No. 610 Locust Street, 


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I V— "f f^ 'l ' 

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No. 927 Chestnut Street. 

Full Paid Capital, $500,000. 
Surplus, 140.000. 

Charles M. Swain, Michael P. Heraty, James F. Lynd, Joseph A. Sinn, 

President. Vice-President. Sec\v and Treas. Trust Officer 

VVm. VV. Conway, Lincoln L. Eyre, 

Real Estate Offieer. Solicitor. 


Chas. M. Swain, \Vm. R. Warner, 

Jas. M. Anders, M. I). John H. Wheeler, 

Stephen P^arrelly, Chas. S. Greene, 

Andrew C. Sinn, W. Durell Shuster, 

C. N. Pierce, D. D. S., James C. Finn, 

Geo. Fales Baker, M. D., John Sailer, 

Michael P. Heraty, Charles W. Potts, 

Samuel B. Huey. 

This Company lias been approved by all the Couii.s of Philaclrlphid 
County as Sole Surety for Meceimrs, Assir/nces, Committees, Adminis- 
trators, Executors, Trustees and Gvardimis, and in cases of AttacJnnent 
liej)lerin, Appeal, Capias, etc., where bonds nre required. 

By special ordinance of Councils, this Company is accepted as 
Surety upon Contracts in all Departments of the TV/// of P/iiladeljyliia. 

Security entered in the various Departments of the National 
Gomrnmrni on (fficial and Coidrarl Bonds. 

It is authorized to become Surety against Loss through default of 
Officers, Cashiers, Book-Jceepers, Agents, Contractors, Notaries, State, 
County and Municipal Officers, and all others holding positions of trust 
or ofhce. 

INTEREST allowed on Deposits; 2 per cent, on Check Accounts, 
and 3 per cent, where ONE week's notice is given. 

BOXES rented in its Guarded Vaults at from $5 to $00. 


down of the Jackson hickory-tree, attempted to prostrate this pole. As the 
lower portion was strapped with iron, and the accomplishment of the task was 
rather difficult, assault was made upon the headquarters in which the Whigs 
had taken refuge, and then new efforts were made against the pole. At this 
moment the parties in the Whig headquarters fired from the upper windows 
with muskets loaded with buckshot. Fifteen or twenty persons were wounded 
in the crowd, one of whom, James Bath, afterwards died. Rendered desperate 
by this attack, the mob rushed against the doors and windows of the head- 
quarters, which were broken in by main force. The inmates got out the best 
they could; the furniture was broken and the pieces thrown into the street. 
While these things had been going on, a fire had been kindled around the liberty 
pole, and a few minutes later, the house also was set afire, and the flames 
spread to some buildings on the East. These buildings were known as Rob's 
Row, and some of the houses were inhabited. The alarm was given, and fire 
engines and hose-carriages came from all parts of the city, as by this time all 
the buildings were burning brightly, and the light could be seen for miles. 
Upon the arrival of the fire department, an infuriated mob, which had determined 
that the property should not be saved, met the firemen, and they were ordered 
to desist their active efforts to save the property. This the firemen refused to 
do, in consequence of which their hose was cut, their engines defaced and 
broken; some of the firemen pulled from their apparatus and terribly beaten, but 
despite all this, they kept at their work, but all to no avail, because as soon as 
they would extinguish the fire at one point, it would be started at another, and 
before morning, Robb's Row was totally destroyed. Mr. Robb and others were 
reimbursed by a special Act of the General Assembly, passed on May nth, 
1836, on the claim that the property had been fired by rioters, 

February 22d, 1832, a fire broke out in the Arkwright Steam Cotton 
Mills, in Kensington district, and despite the energetic efforts of the firemen, the 
mills, along with all the costly machinery and its many looms, were soon a 
smoking mass of ruins. The loss at this fire amounted to $50,000. 

The parade which took place on the 2 2d of February, 1833, (anniversary 
of Washington's Birthday), the firemen made their first appearance in public in 
a procession. On this occasion, there were thirty-seven companies, men in 
their uniforms, engines and carriages decorated, with other features that were 
attractive. Here was first introduced in a firemen's procession a representation 
of a North American Indian, by the Weccacoe Engine Company, which was 
preceded by a chief in lull dress, and their appearance on that occasion 
attracted much attention, and they resolved to make a parade independently in 
the succeeding year. After 1834, they resolved to have triennial parades, 
which custom they kept up until the year 1852. 

April 3d, 1835. From some unknown cause, the hay stored in a stable, on 
Market street, ignited; the alarm was quickly given, and as quickly responded 
to by the fire department. The flames spread from the stable to the adjoining 
property, and the heat became so great that a number of firemen were over- 
come. The fire burned fiercely for some hours, but after having destroyed 
some ^70,000 worth of property, at last gave way to the untiring efforts of the 

^ > ^ 1 n c ^ ^ s 



• PAPER • 

28 ^om ^IXW STREET. 





A fire of more than usual destructiveness, broke out on the 4th of 
October, 1838, in the neighborhood of Chestnut Street Wharf on the Delaware. 
The flames were first noticed in the provision store of H. C. Stroup, on 
Delaware avenue, North of Chestnut street, and extending through towards 
Water street, The stock in Stroup's store was calculated to feed the flames, 
and some adjoining buildings used by oil merchants aided the combustion. A 
strong wind blew the flames across Chestnut street, and enveloped the two-story 
buildings, between Water street and Delaware avenue, and extending to the 
Southeast corner of Front and Chestnut streets, proceeded down the latter, 
destroying three or four wholesale stores and their contents. They were stopped 
by the tall bulwark and thick walls of stores Nos. 57 & 59 South Front street, 
the latter occupied by Mesegaes & Unkaert. Out Chestnut street, the store at 
Northeast corner of Front, extending upwards, was damaged. The Napoleon 
Hotel, Northeast corner of Water and Chestnut streets, kept by John H. Meyers, 
and the Union Line office, adjoining were consumed. On the South side of 
Chestnut street, the Steamboat Hotel was burned. Altogether twenty-three 
houses were totally destroyed, and fifteen or twenty badly damaged. Most of 
the buildings were old, and some of the warehouses had but small stocks of 
goods on hand, so that the loss was not estimated at more than $300,000. The 
firemen were in great danger of falling walls. William P. Moreland, a member 
of the Good Will Engine Company, aged 28 years, and Thomas Barber were 
killed, and seven firemen were seriously injured. 

September 28th, 1839. A fire broke out in the Bellefield Print- Works, 
belonging at that time to C. W. Peal, the building was 250 feet in length, 100 
feet wide and three stories high. This building, stored as it was with an 
immense stock of calicoes, was a mass of flames from one end to the other, but 
owing to the masterly work on the part of the firemen, the fire was confined to 
the main building. 

There were several destructive fires during the year 1841. At one which 
occurred on the 23d of January, at Wright's umbrella store. Market street above 
Third, the front wall fell, by which Oscar Douglas and Mark Rink, two firemen, 
were killed. On the 24th of June, at the fire at Mulfurd & Alter's grocery 
store, Market above Sixth, a similar misfortune befell George L,. Eisenbry, also 
a fireman, 

February i6th, 1842. A fire broke out in the supposed fire-proof four- 
story brick buildings on the corner of Lombard street and South wharves, 
occupied by John L. Ohl, Henry S. Ohl and S. A. Lewis Brothers, importers 
and commission merchants, and in which a quantity of goods had been stored 
by the Custom-House officers and Meyers, Claborn & Co. ; the building and 
contents were entirely destroyed. 

November 12th, 1842. A fire broke out in the large brick building on 
the corner of Front and Chestnut streets. It soon communicated to the adjoining 
building, and both buildings with their contents were destroyed. 

Riots, in which colored people were maltreated and their property 
injured, broke out on the ist of August, 1842, and were caused in the first place 
by a disturbance between colored peisons who were in a procession of the 
Moyamensing Temperance Society and boys and other white persons, who were 








^ir;::^^Cr™ nq. 317 eiNieN street, 


Fhtv^ous Oysters. 



S. U/. §or. Jl^ird apd di>ioi} ^tr(^((t apd 326 8. Jl^ird 5treet, 

Choice Brands of Champagne, Wines, Beers, Liquors and Cordials. Spacious Dining 

Room. Two Floors. 

{ PricesI J 

j^i>riD x_,KiTTH]ie.iisra-. 








Capital, $400,000. 

Surplus, $450,000. 

Undivided Profits, $50,000. 

President, Josiah Kisterbock, Jr. Vice President, JoelCook. 

Cashier, G. Albert Lewis, 

JAMES F. McGARITY, Asst. Engineer, 2nd District. 
Secretary of Pension Fund. 


in the streets. The police made arrests which created excitement. A mob of 
white persons immediately afterwards commenced operations against dwellings, 
inhabited by blacks, in the vicinity of Lombard street, between Fifth and 
Eighth streets, and in various small courts and alleys adjacent. Windows were 
broken, doors were demolished, furniture thrown out of the houses and negroes 
assaulted and beaten. The discharge of a gun, by a black man in Bradford's 
alley, fanned into fierceness the flames of excitement which were about 
subsiding. The person who used the gun retreated to a house, which was 
assaulted, broken open, and all the colored persons within were dragged out and 
beaten; the city police interfered to save these men, and while they were 
taking them to the Mayor's office, desperate efforts were made to rescue them 
from the officers. In the evening, houses occupied by colored people, between 
Seventh and Eighth streets, were broken open, and the inmates assaulted and 

On the North side of Lombard street, between Seventh and 
Eighth streets, was a large building erected by Stephen Smith, a 
colored man, as a place for the meeting of literary and beneficial societies, and 
called, "Smith's Beneficial Hall." Being used by colored men, it was an object 
of attack. A strong force of police was stationed in front of the building and 
the mob kept at a distance; but while they were guarding the front, the enemy 
was successful at the rear. By some means entrance was gained to the building 
and at an unexpected time flames were suddenly seen to break out from the 
upper stories; the destruction was complete, and the building was entirely 
burned out. Some injury was done to adjoining houses by falling walls. While 
this fire was in progress a church on the North side of St. Mary's street, running 
from Seventh, and South of Lombard, was found to be on fire. Nothing was 
saved but the walls. This church was the Church Building of the Society of 
Covenanters, who had afterwards removed to a better site on Eleventh street, 
above Chestnut; the property had passed into the possession of a religious 
society of colored persons. It was never known whether this building was set 
on fire by an incendiary, or whether it caught from sparks and brands flying 
from the great conflagration of Smith's Beneficial Hall. 

At a meeting of the Native Americans, held on Washington street, on 
May 4, 1844; a movement was made to hoist the American flag about the spot 
where Shiftier fell. While this was being done, a volley of musketry was poured 
into the meeting from the Hibernia Hose house. Although the persons who 
attended the State House meeting were requested to come armed, they had not 
done so, and there is reason to believe that not one out of one hundred persons 
at the meeting even carried a pistol. Some persons, joined the crowd as 
they marched up, carrying guns; there were probably a dozen of these 
when Master street was reached. At a subsequent legal investigation there 
was a conflict of testimony as to the manner in which the disturbances 
commenced. Some said that the meeting was called to order and a speaker 
began to address them; others testified that the business of the meeting had not 
commenced before guns were fired from the Hibernia]JHose house ;]^atj this, the 
persons connected with the meeting made an attack upon the hose-house, brokp 
it open and ran out the hose-carriage, which was destroyed. They did not 


Front, Poplar and 
Canal Streets, 



Box's Double Screw Hoist, Overhead Track, Switches, Etc. Traveling 

Cranes for Hand or Power. Jib Cranes all Sizes, from One to 

Twenty Tons. Radial Drills and Radial Gang Drills 

for Bridge Works. 



Our Factories at the Falls of Schui)lkill 

are kept busy turning out the Choicest things in Carpets, producing 

for every Season, 

5©)ura6Pe iJa6rIcxi). 

These Goods are sold at our Retail Stores. 


3iTos. SOS and. ©11 CliestrL-u.t Street, 


venture in the upper stories, but the Hibernia house was set on fire, and the 
flames spread rapidly to other buildings. Guns were then fired from other 
houses in the upper part of Cadwaller street, as far as Jefferson ; afterwards above 
that street, and, at times, from the back part of houses on the Germantown 
road and up Master street. John Wesley Rinedollar, a young man, was shot in 
the back and killed, and five or six others were wounded. Louis Greble, and 
Charles Stillwell were shot dead; Joseph Coxe and John Leshner were wounded 
mortall3% and afterward died, and several Americans were wounded. On the 
other side, Joseph Rice, an Irishman, was killed while looking over a fence on 
the West side of Cadwaller street. John Taggart, an Irishman, who was 
accused of firing a gun, was arrested, and ordered to be committed to prison by 
an Alderman; the mob made an attack upon the officers who had him in custody. 
He was severely beaten, and an attempt was made to hang him to a lamp-post; 
this ferocity being prevented, his body was dragged over the stones of the 
streets for some distance, beaten and left for dead on one of the stalls of the 
market-house, in Second street, below Poplar. The body was taken to the 
police office of the Northern I,iberties, his wounds treated, and finally he 

While these transactions were in progress, the fire which had started 
at the Hibernia Hose House, had extended along Cadwaller street, on both 
sides, on the West side of Washington street, and South side of Jefierson street; 
altogether about thirty houses were destroyed, and the "Nany-Goat Market" 
also took fire and was destroyed. The military was called out by the Sheriff on 
Monday evening, but the officers refused to respond. On Tuesday, efforts were 
again made for the same purpose, and after a meeting of the officers 
of the First Brigade and a discussion of the matter, it was resolved to 
muster. The troops came on the ground about dark, and the fire- 
men, who had been ready to play on the burning buildings, but were prevented 
by the danger of being shot, proceeded to check the flames under the protection 
of the military. The mob had dispersed, and during the night there was no 
further disturbance. 

The next day was the 9th of May; great crowds of people visited 
the scenes of the riots out of curiosity. The military had been withdrawn, all 
except two companies, the Monroe Guards; and the Philadelphia Cadets, 
Captain White. Many of the Irish were removing their goods, and fleeing from 
the dangerous neighborhood. Their dwellings were entered, as there were 
rumors of guns and ammunition being found in them. A row of houses, in a 
court running from Cadwaller street, above Jefferson, were set on fire, as also 
two brick houses at the Southeast corner of Cadwaller street and Germantown 
road, above Master street. The whole neighborhood was menaced, and 
American flags were displayed from the windows of various houses to indicate 
that the tenants were not Irish. At this time, the Roman Catholic Church of 
St. Michael, a large brick building at the corner of Second and Jefferson streets, 
was set on fire. The Pastor's residence, adjoining, and some frame buildings 
on the South caught from the flames and all were destroyed. About the same 
time, the Female Seminary, at Second and Phoenix streets, which had resisted 
the attacks of the previous day, was set on fire and consumed, as was also a 






P. W. Gor. 4th and Areli Street*, 

New York Office 
1 02 Chambers Street. 



grocery store, occupied by Joseph Carr, a Catholic, at the Northeast corner of 
Second and Phoenix. The two military companies on the ground were weak in 
numbers, and could not prevent these outrages. Indeed, they were taunted by 
the rioters and insulted in the most outrageous manner. About 5 o'clock, the 
First Brigade, under Brig. -Gen. George Cadwalader, Sheriff Morton McMichael 
and Maj.-Gen. Robert Patterson being with them, arrived upon the ground by 
way of Fourth street; they were divided into two bodies, one of which marched 
down Franklin street (Girard avenue) to Second street and Jefferson. The other, 
under command of Col. James Page, marched up Fourth to Jefferson and to 
Second street. The rioters, who had been insulting to the military, ere this 
became less demonstrative. Many of them left the ground, and proceeding to 
some distance from the soldiers, made an attack upon the office of Alderman 
Hugh Clark, at Fourth and Master streets, battering the doors and windows. 
He was an Irishman and a Catholic, free-spoken and unpleasant in his manner, 
and was highly unpopular. His house stood the attack, but that of Patrick 
Clark, adjoining, was entered, and the furniture throwm into the street. A 
detachment of military arrived in time to prevent the place from being set on 
fire. Some other houses on Master and Jefferson streets were burned. Harmony 
court, running West from Cadwaller street, above Master, which contained six 
or eight houses, was subjected to the incendiary and totally detroyed. 

While these outrages were carried on in Kensington, other parts of the 
city and county were unguarded, and there was a better chance of wanton 
destruction to exert itself elsewhere. Unfortunately, rumors in the course of 
the day had been circulated through the city that there was a probability that 
the Roman Catholic Church of St. Augustine, on Fourth street, below Vine, 
and opposite New street, would be attacked. There was no particular reason 
why this Church should have been selected for destruction, while others of the 
same sect were not even thought of. But there were stories looking to an 
attack upofl St. Augustine's, and they had the effect to attract a considerable 
crowd to the neighborhood. The seat of previous disturbances having been in 
Kensington, the city authorities were not prepared for this danger. The Mayor, 
John M. Scott, was on the ground with a body of police, who were stationed on 
the pavement in front of the church. The First City Troop of Cavalry were 
stationed in the neighborhood. The throngs of people coming to the scene 
increased the crowd; thousands stood or looked at the church or were engaged 
in low conversation. There w^ere no demonstrations of violence to attract 
attention. But whilst the police and the crowd were on the outside, somebody 
had entered the church and kindled a fire, the light of which was soon seen. 
No efforts were made to quench the flames. They increased in brightness as 
pew led the fire to pew, the galleries caught, and at length the cross, which 
crowned the height, yielded to the flames ard fell in; plaudits arose with savage 
exultation from the many in the streets. The firemen who were upon the 
ground did not attempt to play upon the church, but devoted themselves to 
saving the adjoining properties. The flames were resistless, and they left 
nothing unconsumed— nothing but the blackened walls were there in the 
morning, and through the broken windows, over what had been the high altar, 
were seen as plainly as they had existed the previous day, the remarkable 







N08. 316, 318 and 320 CHESTNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA.. 

Rpiits Safes in its Fire and l>iir}riar Proof Vaults (which are protected by Six Hall 
Double Chronometer Time Locks, witli non-lockout attachment), with Combination and 
Permutation Locks, that can only be opened by the renter, at from $5 per year and upwards. 

Allows Interest on I>ei>osils of Money : Acts as Executor, Administrator, Guard- 
ian, Assif^nee, Coniniittee, Keceiver, Aj^ent. Attorney, etc., etc., and Executes Trusts 
of every kind under appoinment of State. Courts. Corpations, or Individuals, Holding 
Trust Funds Separate and Apart from all other assets of the Company. 

Collects Interest on Income, and transacts all other business authorized by its Charter. 

Receives for Safe Keepina:, under jruarantee, A'aluables of every description, such 
as Coupon and Registered Bonds, Certificates of Stock, Deeds, Mortgages, Coin, Silver- 
ware, Jewelry, etc. 

Actsas Regristrar or Transfer A^entof Railroad Mining and other Corporation Stocks 
Receipts for and Safely Keeps Wills without Charjre. 

Especial attention is called to our Vaults for the Storage and Safe Keeping of large 
packages of Silverw.\re and other valuables in bulk, for the Summer or longer, our facili- 
ties for handling such being unsurpassed. 

For FURTHER INFORMATION call at the OFFICE or send for a CIRCULAR. 
Richard Y. Cook, President; Grorcik H. Earle, Jii., Vice-President; Harrv J. Dklanv. 

Treasurer; John Jay Gilrov, Secretary; Richard C. Winship, Trust Officer. 

Directors.— Edward G. Knight, Thomas M.icKellar, John J. Stadiger, VV. Roth VVister, 
Alfred Fitler, f. Dickinson Sergeant, Aaron Fries, Chas. A, Sparks, Jos. Moore, Jr., Richard 
Cook, Geo. H. Earle, Jr., Jay Cook, Jr., Conyers Butler. 


words : "The Loed Seeth." Besides the church building, other adjoining 
property was destroyed. The large building on Crown street, used as a school- 
house, in which, during the cholera visitation of 1832, the sick bad been nursed 
and the sufferings of the dying alleviated as far as could be by Sisters of Charity, 
was totally destroyed. It had contained the large and costly theological library 
of the Hermits of St. Augustine, including rare books not to be found elsewhere 
in America; some of these during the fire were thrown out in Crown street and 
torn or trodden upon so as to be worthless; some were picked up and returned 
eventually to the Fathers, but the greater portion of this fine collection of 
books were destroyed. During all this wanton vandalism, the troops had been 
stationed in Kensington. When news of the occurences were sent to the 
military, they were marched to the city, and during the rest of the night 
disposed in detachments for the protection of Catholic Churches. vSome of 
these were guarded by citizens. City Councils had an informal session on the 
evening of the Sth, and it was agreed by those present that ^20,000 should be 
appropriated to the Police Committee, toward payment of endeavoring to main- 
tain the peace. It was now seen that the temporizing policj^ of the previous 
three or four days, the want of preparation to meet emergencies, the seeming 
helplessness, which had allowed rapine, arson and murder to hold saturnalia, 
was a great mistake of policy, and had given impunity to the worst elements. 

The histor}' of hose-carriages between 1845 and i860 is a history of 
luxury. Every decoration which painters, sculptors, and lapidaries could put 
upon them was used. They were resplendent with gold and silver work, 
handsome paintings, mirrored sides and carvings; they were inlaid with pearl, 
and one carriage bore on its front a blazing glory formed of imitation brilliants 
of the first water. The very handsome machines thus decorated seemed only 
for show, while the work was mostly done by uncouth, badly-shaped, clumsy 
carriages called "crabs," which bore as much resemblance to the dandy hose- 
carriage as orang-outangs do to Venus. 

Hook-and-ladder apparatus were of extremely modern introduction in the 
cit)^ Seventy years ago every fire company possessed these useful adjuncts, 
but they were suffered to lie neglected until they ceased to be a part of 
Philadelphia fire companies. The formation of the Empire Hook-and-L,adder 
Company in 1851, again introduced hooks and ladders to notice, and they had 
been so useful on various occasions as to lead to the formation of other companies 
upon a similar plan. 

A fire took place in the Academy of Fine Arts, on Chestnut street, between 
Tenth and Eleventh, by incendiary means, on the nth of June, 1845. The 
valuable collection of statues, casts, models, paintings and engravings belonging 
to the society were in great danger, and many of them were destroyed, and 
Benjamin West's painting, "Death on the Pale Horse," was cut from the 
frame and saved in a damaged state. Stuart's original full-length portrait of 
Washington was rescued, but was considerably injured; several other paintings 
of great merit were lost. Among them were the "Roman Daughter," by 
Murillo, which belonged to Gody; "Prince of Peace," and "St. Jerome," by 
Murillo; a "Shipwreck," by Salvator Rosa; "St. Francis," by Guido; a portrait 
of Columbus, and portraits of Dugald Stewart, John Quincy Adams, Judge 


^oopEi^/^C^ STO(;i\, 









Shippen and Judge Hopkinson. The antique gallery, containing fifty or sixty 
statues, was totally destroyed. The library of the Academy was materially 
injured, and in many particulars the loss was irreparable. A public meeting 
was held shortly afterwards, and subscriptions were authorized to be taken up 
for the benefit of the Academy. Many paintings and engravings were damaged 
by water, but were afterward.s restored with considerable skill. 

In the early part of September, a fire at Broad and Cherry streets, 
destroyed two forwarding depots and warehouses, extensive in size, and well 
stored with goods ready to be transported. The fire commenced in a stable iu 
the rear of Arch street, on the West side. The flames were communicated to the 
storehouse of Siter, James & Co., and thence communicated to the warehouse 
of James Steel & Co., at the Southeast corner of Cherry street. Crossing over 
that street to the North side, the warehouse of Craig, Bellas & Co. was totally 
destroyed. In front of these establi.shments, they took up nearly three-quarters 
of a square, between Arch and Race streets, and they extended back 200 or 250 
feet. They were filled with grain, flour, provisions, and other staple goods 
brought from the West; and with groceries, dry goods, clothing, etc., ready to 
be taken West. The loss was very heavy. 

January i8th, 1846. A fire broke out in the large store of Lewis & 
Sterling, No. 59 South Wharves. There were in the store, 400 bales of cotton^ 
200 bales of hemp, and 100 bags of wool, all of which were consumed. Norris, 
Walen & Co., adjoining, was also destroyed. The fire extended North to the 
building occupied by Russell & Allen, weighmasters; Penrose & Burton, com- 
mission merchants, and Robert Burton, shipping merchant; from thence to the 
store of Lincoln & Co., produce dealers, and Peal & Stevens, sail loft, which 
were destroyed. On the South side of Lewis & Sterling's store was an alley; 
the fire crossed the alley, and ignited the roof of the house of Mr. Hinkle, rope 
maker and ship-chandler, but the damage was not large. The extreme coldness 
of the weather, and the freezing of the water in the engines (which were 
constructed without suction power), must account for the progress which the 
fire made. No loss of life occurred, though, several firemen were covered up 
by falling walls, and were badly injured. Merchants blocks away moved their 
books and valuables from their ofiices, thinking that this entire section of the 
city would be consumed, and in fact, at one time it looked very much like it 
but the splendid work by the firemen soon removed this impression. 

A severe fire, which broke out in the evening of August 21st, 1846, in 
Bread street, near the corner of Quarry, at the large sugar-house refinery of 
George L. Broome & Co., occasioned loss of life. The building was eight 
stories high. The flames came from the engine-room, and mounted successively 
to the top of the house, in one roaring, fierce conflagration. The flames were 
carried to the large brewery of Robert Newlin and a range of stables on the 
North belonging to Joseph Rubicain. The grain, liquor in vats and hogsheads, 
hops and other merchandise, added to the fury of the fire. Bread street, being 
very narrow, the firemen worked in much peril. By the falling of the North wall 
of the refinery into Quarry street, the Reliance Engine was crushed and some 
of the firemen severely injured. Shortly afterwards the gable end of the refinery 
fell upon the brewery, and forced the latter into Bread street. Twenty-seven 

1871 fWENTY TEARS! 1891 

This period represents the time 
we have been catering to tlie 
clothing wants of the 


each succeeding year has found 
us better prepared to meet the 
demands, and to-day we are 

FOR -f -f 


S. W. Corner 6th and South Streets, 



men were struck down by the falling walls, who were connected with the 
Fairmount engine and the Perseverance Hose carriage. Andrew Butler and 
Charles H. Hines, menabers of the Perseverance Hose Company, were so badly 
crushed and hurt that they died soon after. Mr. Butler had been for several 
years secretary of the Fire Association, and was widely known. Hines was 2c 
years old, and an apprentice to Mr. Dunlap, a coachraaker. The two victims 
were buried at the same time, and the funeral was attended by fifty-one fire 
companies, numbering over 3,000 members; the line of procession was estimated 
to be three miles long. 

On the morning of August 24th, 1847, the large sugar-refinery of S. 
Brown was discovered to be on fire; upon the arrival of the department, the 
huge building was a roaring mass'of flames. The smoke that was changing 
daylight into night was pitchy-black and suffocating in the extreme, it being 
hardly possible to inhale the air in the vicinity of the fire; the heat was intense, 
and the wind was blowing a gale, but despite these disadvantages the fire was 
confined to the building in which it originated. The loss on this building 
amounted $165,000. 

September 19th, 1847. A fire broke out in a building on the corner of 
Tenth and Buttonwood streets. Two carpenter shops were destroyed. These 
shops were situated on the first floor of some three-storj' buildings, the upper 
floors were occupied as dwellings. When the fire was discovered intense 
excitement took place among the persons who were occupying the dwelling 
portion. One woman who was on the third floor attempted to descend by the 
stairway, but found that escape in that way was cut off; she ran to the window 
and, without stopping to think, jumped out. She struck a fireman who was 
just about entering the house, injuring him so severely that he died the next 
day from the efi'ects of his injuries, while the woman escaped uninjured. L,oss 
at this fire amounted to $20,000. 

The bitterness of feeling and insubordination to the authorities exhibited 
at this period on the part of the fire department, and the frequent scenes of riot 
and disorder, to the scandal of the community, led to the passage of an act "for 
the better regulation of the fire department of the city and incorporated districts 
of the County of Philadelphia," passed March 7th. This law declared that if 
members or adherents of fire companies w^ere guilty of fighting or rioting in the 
streets while going to a fire, or upon an alarm of fire, the company which they 
represented might be put out of service for six months by the Court of Quarter 
Sessions, and their door closed. If, after return to service, members of the 
company should be again guilty of rioting, the company might be disbanded. 
New fire companies could only be created by the authority of the Quarter 
Sessions; no company thereafter to use a stationary alarm-bell. The city and 
districts were ordered to keep at least one alarm-bell, to be rung in time of fire. 
Defacing, injuring or destroying fire-apparatus was declared to be a felony, 
punishable with fine, or imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than 
a year, either or both. 

April 1 8th, 1848. A fire broke 'out in the large stores of George Paterson & 
Co. They had in store a large quantity of cotton, several hundred demijohns of 
choice wines and 400 hogsheads of sugar. The building with its contents was 







CD C3 1_ LJ rs/i ^ I >^ hsj " 

Stoves^ Heaters and t^an^es^ 


The Keeley Stove Company, 








entirely destroyed. Several other buildings in the neighborhood were fired from 
the sparks of the burning building, but were extinguished before any great 
amount of damage was done. 

July 22d, 1848 A fire broke out in the Power- Ivoom Carpet Factory, a 
short distance South of the Navy Yard, which was occupied by Samuel Scott. 
This building with its contents was destroyed. Several narrow escapes from 
death were made, but fortunately no one was seriously hurt. 100 persons were 
thrown out of employment by this fire. 

July 29th, 1848. A fire broke out in a carpenter shop, back of Ninth 
street; the flames extended to five three-story brick buildings, which were 
destroyed with all their contents. Several houses on Lombard street were 
badly damaged, and five on Bonsall street were unroofed and otherwise badly 

The triennial parade of firemen, in the year 1849, took place amid the 
severity of a driving snow-storm, which continued until night; the fine banners 
and paraphernalia could not be displayed without receiving such injuries from 
the snow that they would be useless. The most costly of the standards, 
together with the tinsel and artificial flowers usually displayed on fine parade 
days, were left at home; the few banners which were brought out to brave the 
storm w^ere old, and the greater portion of them were dismantled before the day 
was over, and at the close of the procession but one, which belonged to the 
Shiffler Hose Company, was to be seen in the whole line. Only forty-eight 
companies, about one-half the usual number, paraded, and these v\ith ranks 
constantly reduced by desertion. The whole number of firemen out at the 
beginning of the parade was about 2,000; they fell away gradually, so that at 
the end of the route there were only a few hundred. The noted curiosity of 
the procession was an old fire-engine, which once belonged to the City of 
Philadelphia, and which is supposed to have been the same bought by the 
corporation from Alderman Abraham Bickley, in 1718. A plate upon it showed 
that it was built by Loud, of London, in 1698. 

On this day the Diligent Hose Company paraded by itself. The trouble 
which led to that course was produced by the band which had been hired to 
attend the company in the parade— it was that of Dodsworth, of New York. The 
members of this high-strung organization were shocked at the employment of 
Frank Johnson's band of colored men and other bands of colored musicians which 
was quite an ordinary circumstance for many years in Philadelphia. The 
Dodsworth bandsmen, a considerable portion of which were foreigners by birth, 
declared that they would not parade in a procession in which bands, composed 
of colored musicians, were allowed to play. The fire companies which had 
hired colored bands for the procession refused to submit to this impudent 
dictation, and would not discharge their bands or withdraw from the procession. 
The result was that the Diligent was compelled to make a solitary march. The 
firemen were very much dissatisfied with the misfortunes of the day, and they 
resolved to try it again, when they were quite successful. 

The day. May 1st, was bright and balmy; all the fine banners, decorations 
and insignia, which could not be brought out on the the stormy 27th of March, 
were now in full display. There were sixty companies and over 4,000 men. 



Manufacturers of 







402 # 404 MARKET STRBET 


1028 Chestnut Street, 



Among the novelties of the parade was the stuffed skin of the dog, "Cash," 
who for many years ran to fires with the Good Intent Hose Company. The 
Northern Liberty Hose presented a Roman triumphal car, drawn by horses, 
with a living representative of the Goddess of Liberty. The William Penn Hose 
Company presented its usual masque of William Penn and his Indians, at this 
time in unusual strength, the members numbering fifty. Three companies 
paraded on this occasion apart from the main procession, they were victims to 
musicians, who would not play in the same procession with colored bands. 

The spirit of disorder and misrule, which had been growing annually for 
fifteen or sixteen years, was now at its height. The miserable system of a city 
with adjacent districts, each independent of the other, was a protection to the 
disorderly, and encouragement to them to unite together for the purpose of 
showing their disregard of law. Organized gangs of ruffians and thieves were 
associated under such names as Killers, Blood Tubs, Rats, Schuylkill Rangers, 
and other vulgar appellations. The walls and fences in the neighborhood of the 
resorts of these gangs were decorated with their titles in chalk and paint. It was 
a noticeable thing that all of these associations were "No. i." The Killers, 
No. I fought with the Buffers, No. i, or the Rats, No. i, as the case might be; 
but nobody ever heard of the Killers, Buffers, or Rats, No. 2. These associa- 
tions were so strong that they committed depredations with impunity, to the 
terror of citizens, and in contempt of the authorities. The district of Moya- 
mensing was particularly afflicted with these gangs. The district police 
arrangements were ineffective. 

There was also a great deal of enmity between the firemen of the district. 
A fire was as likely to be an incendiary, to lure a hostile company into a district 
where it could be taken in ambush, as to have been accidental. An outrageous 
fight which took place in that district in June, on a Sunday, lasted nearly all 
day, and was fought with bricks, stones and fire-arms in the public streets, 
ranging from Eighth to Eleventh, and from Christian to Fitzwater street. Two 
weeks afterward, a shed, on Shippen street, between Ninth and Tenth, was 
fired purposely. The carriage of the Franklin Hose, proceeding toward the 
place, was seized by a gang of ruffians who were lying in wait, and run down to 
Washington-Street Wharf, on the Delaware, where it was pushed in the river. 
A retaliatory operation on the same night was brought about by setting fire to 
a shed on another part of Shippen street. The Moyamensing Hose was attacked 
by adherents of the Franklin. A serious fight took place with fire-arms, in the 
course of which Alexander Gilles was killed, and nine or ten wounded. 

A serious riot occurred on the night of the general election, October 9th, 
which ended with murder and arson. In the evening, an old wagon on which 
combustibles were placed and set on fire, was dragged by a party of men from 
the lower part of Moyamensing, up Seventh street as far as St. Mary's street, 
and along the latter toward Sixth. The neighborhood was inhabited by colored 
people, and they were greatly alarmed, because it had been reported in the 
day that an attack would be made at night upon a large four-story brick 
building, at the Northwest corner of Sixth and St. Mary's streets, called the 
California House, it was a tavern frequented by blacks; the proprietor was a 
mulatto and his wife a white woman. This case of miscegenation was well 



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known, and had been the subject of hints of violence before that time. Nothing 
might have come from the running of the burning wagon down St. Mary's street 
if it had not been for the rumors of the day. Many of the negroes anticipated 
an attack, and had prepared for it. They manifested their intentions in St. 
Mary's street, by throwing bricks and stones at the parties drawing the blazing 
wagon; the assault led to retaliation. An attack was made upon the California 
House, and missiles thrown at the doors and windows; the building was 
defended, in consequence of the rumors of the several colored persons who were 
in the house. They employed bricks, stones and fire-arms against the assailants. 
Finally the latter triumphed; they obtained an entrance to the house, went to 
work in the bar-room, broke fixtures and furniture, piled them in the middle of 
the apartment and set them on fire. The city police, unarmed, now came on 
the scene; they encountered ruffians armed with revolving pistols, knives, clubs 
and stones. The ofiicers were boldly attacked, and driven back as far as 
Lombard street, where they endeavored to hold in check a body of excited 
blacks who seemed to be anxious to participate in the fight. The latter were 
restrained a short time, but tearing up bricks and paving stones, they went 
towards St. Mary's street and took part in the fight. The fire in the California 
House had been slow in its progress, too slow for the impatience of the rioters, 
so, to assist the destruction, they took out the gas fixtures and set the gas free. 
Soon the building was in a fierce blaze. The alarm of fire was now sounded; 
the firemen with their apparatus repaired to the scene, and encountered strong 
opposition. The members of the Hope Fire Company, preparing to go into 
service were beaten off, the engine taken from them, run up St. Mary's street 
and abandoned. The Good Will Fire Company, on arriving near St. Mary's 
street, were received with a volley of fire-arms. Charles Himmelwright, a 
member, was shot and died in three minutes, and John HoUick, a member of 
the same company, was seriously wounded, and afterwards died from the 

The California House was now in full blaze, two frame houses adjoining 
on Sixth street, and two brick houses and a carpenter shop were burned. This 
riot raged during the evening and night without attempt to check it by the 
police, when the State-House bell was rung to call out the military. The rioters 
had in the meanwhile retired for a time. The soldiers reached the scene about 
half-past two o'clock on the morning of the loth; they found everything quiet, 
and the mistake was committed by the commanding officers by withdrawing 
them. They marched down Sixth street, as far as Shippen street, along the 
latter to Fifth, and up the latter to the Mayor's office where they were dismissed. 
This unusual proceeding, not proper to be adopted, while the passions of the 
rioters were yet heated, gave them notice of their opportunity. In the morning 
they set fire to a frame house in St. Mary's street, and commenced attacks upon 
the colored people. The Phcenix Hose Company on the way to the fire was 
stopped, the members assaulted with stones, and compelled to fly. The Robert 
Morris hose-carriage was seized, taken from the members and run into Moya- 
mensing. The Diligent Hose Company, attempting to get into service, had its 
hose cut. The firemen rallied and succeeded in saving the burning house. The 
blacks were encouraged by this assistance; they gathered before daylight, and 


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until about eight o'clock, maintained a furious battle with the rioters on Fifth 
street. About ten o'clock, the military, which had been summoned, marched 
to the scene, stationed their guards, and placed two cannons of Col. Bohlin's 
Artillery in front of the California House, companies and sentries were stationed 
on Sixth street, at Pine, Lombard, South and Shippen streets, and at the cross 
streets at Fifth and Seventh streets. The military were on the ground for two 
days, when quiet was restored they were withdrawn. Beside Himmelwright 
and Thomas G. Westerhood, a fireman, who died in the same month, Jeremiah 
McShane, an Irishman, was shot and killed while looking out of a window, and 
John Griffith, a colored boy, lost his life. The wounded taken to the hospital, 
were nine whites and sixteen blacks; the number injured was doubtless even 

A fire of great extent in ground burned over, in the number of'buildings 
destroyed, and in the value of the property destroyed, broke out on the 9th of 
July, 1850, in a store at 39 North Water street, below Vine, on the East side, in 
the upper part of the building, which, with the one adjoining, was occupied by 
Gorden & Berger, whose stock consisted principally of pressed hay. The fire is 
believed to have originated from the friction produced by a wheel of a hoisting 
machine, in active use by the firm of John Brock & Co., who occupied the lower 
part of the store, and the wheel was in use all day, in lowering hogsheads of 
molasses into the cellar. The firemen were summoned, and soon were in 
service. During the operations of the firemen, some noises, as of explosions 
were heard. A witness afterwards before a coroner's jury testified that he had 
counted sixteen of them, before the last and most terrible in its force; (the noise 
made by the latter was exceedingly loud). In a moment the walls of the Brock 
and Gorden & Berger warehouses were blown out, and the bricks, stone and 
blazing timbers were sent high into the air. Upon the west side the fragments 
were with great violence blown into a house immediately opposite, which was 
occupied by several families. Of the inmates, Marcus Marcus, aged 18 years; 
Caroline Marcus, his younger sister, and Isaac Marcus, a younger brother, were 
killed; and the father of the Marcus' family very much injured by the explosion. 
Persons in the street were also injured and killed. A large number standing on 
the wharf near-by were blown overboard, and several jumped into the river. 
By the explosion, a fire which might have been local was rendered of 
general character. The falling walls crushed in the roofs of adjacent buildings 
and communicated the fire to their contents. 

Adjoining the Brock store, were the warehouses of Ridgway & Budd on 
one side, and of the Lehigh Transportation Company on the other. Immediately 
opposite a burning bale of hay and firebrands had been blown in the houses on 
"Water steet, extending to Front; they were soon in a blaze. In a short time, 
the flames crossed Front street and attacked dwellings on the West side. 
Extending South to New street, the flames swept along the latter to Second 
street. About the same time the houses on Vine street, between Front and 
Second, were on fire. Laborious efforts to prevent the flames from crossing the 
West side of Second street were successful. Above Vine street, they were 
carried along Second, Northward on the East side, and were only stopped six 
houses below Callowhill street by the parapet walls of the White House tavern. 


Alfred M. Collins, Henry H. Collins, Edward Cope, 

Secretary and Treasurer. President. Vice-President. 






>> V^:7^i:^^^;:^:7<^ V?:>^^^ ^^^ 


one house above that was consumed. There was considerable destruction on 
Front street above Vine, in New Market street -and upon Callowhill street. 
The following will give some idea of the extent of the destruction : 

Houses burned on East side of Water street and Delaware avenue 

South of Vine 17 

" on the East side of Front to Water street 18 

" " West side of Front, South of Vine 12 

" " " South side of Vine street, between Front and Second 26 

" " New street, between Front and Second 28 

" " the East side of Second, South of Vine 10 

" burned between Vine and Callowhill, Delaware avenue and 

Second street 211 

" ' burned North and East of Callowhill and Water streets 15 

I'otal 337 

These were totally destroyed. Many other houses were injured by sparks 
and burning boards which were carried by the explosion and the wind far and 
wide. Pieces of brimstone from Brock's store were picked up in Broad street, 
and zinc from the roof of that building fell in Ridge avenue. About 300 of the 
buildings destroyed were dwelling-houses; the remainder were stores. The loss 
could scarcely be estimated accurately. It was supposed that it could not be 
less than a million dollars, and it might have been much more; the insurance 
amounted to $368,000. During the continuance of this fire the greatest conster- 
nation prevailed in the neighborhood for squares distant, and anxiety, all over 
the city. The volumes of flame and smoke were immense, and were visible 
from every direction. Many persons who resided or were in business at the 
distance of one-quarter or one-half mile from the place where the fire was 
burning, packed up their goods, and prepared for a sudden removal. The 
flames were gotten under control by the firemen about two o'clock the next 
morning, and were confined to the district already injured. The news being 
sent by telegraph throughout the United States, brought firemen from other 
cities; 100 of them came from New York the same night, some from Newark, 
and some from Baltimore. The City Councils appropriated $10,000 for the 
relief of the sufi"erers by the calamity; the Commissioners of the Northern 
Liberties gave an equal amount. A meeting of citizens was held at which 
measures were taken to collect contributions for the assistance of the injured; 
they received about $31,000, which was properly appropriated. 

The cause of the explosion was for a long time a subject of controversy, 
and was never satisfactorily settled; the most general belief was that it was 
caused by the large quantities of saltpetre and brimstone in the store of the 
Messrs. Brock. Here were two of the ingredients of gunpowder; the other, it 
was suggested, could have been furnished by the brands and coal from the fire 
dropping from above into the saltpetre and nitre. There was great discussion 
on the subject in the newspapers, with ingenious attempts to solve the question, 
"Will Saltpetre Explode?" On the same day, when the fire was making its 
ravages, Zachary Taylor, President of the United States, died at Washington, 





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D. C, the news was in the same papers which contained the accounts of the 
great fire. The City Councils resolved that the death of the President should 
be commemorated by appropriate ceremonies, which took place on the 30th of 
July. The shops and public buildings were generally closed, and the fronts of 
many of them draped and hung with black. At the Custom-House, the marble 
columns of the portico were shrouded in crepe, wound round them from bases 
to capitals; the doorways were festooned. Upon the cornice, in silver letters, 
upon a black ground, was the sentence : "I have endeavored faithfully to 
discharge my duty." The city buildings, on Chestnut street, between Fifth and 
Sixth, were heavily draped. Crepe and black hangings were generally displayed 
upon the large hotels, store and some private residences. 

The most terrible disaster that had occurred in this city up to this time, 
took place at the burning of Bruner's Cotton Mill, situated at the corner of 
Nixon (Twenty-Third) and Hamilton streets, November 12th, 1851; the mill at 
that time was a four-story stone building. The fire broke out from some 
unknown cause in the lower story, and ran with rapidity up the only stairway. 
There were over forty men and women employed in the upper stories. A few 
of them managed to fight their way down the burning stairway, but the greater 
number, when they went to use this means of escape, found it cut off. At this 
time the scene was heart-rending, men and women appeared at the different 
windows crying and begging for assistance. A fireman braved the danger and 
and ascended on the hoist-rope, and lowered several men; but the women would 
not take advantage of this means until it was too late. The fireman, to encourage 
them, took a woman who was braver than the rest in his arms and brought her 
down the rope in safety to the ground, and none too soon; as while he was being 
lowered the rope took fire and burned in two. Those that were left in the 
building were driven to the dreadful alternative of jumping from the third or 
fourth story windows, or being burned to death. Agnes Morrow was instantly 
killed, and not one escaped without severe injuries. Edward Crossley and Mary 
Ann Browning, who refused to jump, were burned to death. The flames spread 
with lightning-like rapidity, and nothing but the presence of mind on the part 
of some one closing the stairway, gave them any chance at all to escape. In a 
short while the building was a mass of ruins. The owners of other mills and 
factories admonished by the disaster, generally adopted measures for the better 
escape of their employees in case of fire, but with little success, judging from 
the number of similar catastrophies that afterwards happened. 

December 12th, 185 1. A fire broke out in Hart's Buildings, then situated 
corner of Sixth and Chestnut streets. The flames spread very rapidly destroying 
the whole block with contents; the Shakespeare Building, on the opposite side 
of Sixth street, was destroyed with Brown's Hotel. The walls of Hart's 
Buildings fell, killing two firemen, and wounding several others. This entire 
block on the West side of Sixth street, from Chestnut street to Carpenter, was 
left a heap of smoking ruins. Beside the buildings above mentioned, the law 
bookstore of T. &T. W. Johnson, and several others, on the East side of Sixth 
street and South side of Chestnut street, were destroyed. 

An alarm of fire was sounded on the morning of December 27th, 1851, at 
the same time the heavens were lit up with a lurid glare. Upon the arrival of 


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the members of the fire department, the large four-story building, at the North 
west corner of vSixth and Chestnut streets, was discovered to be on fire from the 
cellar to the roof. This property belonged to Abram Hart, long a successful 
bookseller and publisher, and was known as the Hart Building. The flames 
were first discovered in a drying-room, attached to the engraving office and 
copper-plate printing establishment of John M. Butler; they broke out about 
half-past twelve o'clock, and the firemen came at the alarm. The thermometer 
stood at four degrees above zero. Most of the fire-plugs were frozen; to thaw 
them the firemen in many instances set fire to the straw which surrounded the 
pipes to which the hose was to be attached. In some cases the woodwork of 
the plugs was destroyed. The delays and difficulties were so serious that Hart's 
Building was soon enveloped in flames and was totally destroyed. On the West 
side of Sixth street, the Shakespeare Building — an old land mark — was also 
attacked by the fire and entirely consumed. It extended from Chestnut street 
to Carpenter street. Not a wall was left standing. Immediately adjoining the 
Shakespeare Building was the Chestnut-Street Theatre, filled with combustible 
scenery and in great danger. Luckily, the West wall of the Shakespeare 
Building was thick, and rose like a battlement above the roof of the theatre, it 
was a barricade which kept off the fire, and no more injury was done in that 

Adjoining Hart's building on Chestnut street, was the store of Mesj^s. 
Johnson, law booksellers and publishers, and next to that, Holahan's Eagle 
Tavern, an old and well-known place of resort for many years. J. W. Moore, 
bookseller, joined Holahan's; these buildings and their contents were seriously 
injured, but not entirely destroyed. The roof of the County Court-House, 
immediately opposite, on the South side of Chestnut street, was on fire. 
Fortunately, the flames were checked, and the public offices in State-House 
Row and the venerable old State-House building were pre.served. A melancholy 
incident of the Hart's Building fire, was the death of Wm. A. Haley, a lawyer, 
and member of City Councils, and police officer Baker; they were engaged with 
others in removing goods from a store on the ground-floor of a building and 
while in that service, were overwhelmed by the falling in of the upper walls 
and the precipitation of bricks, timber and machinery into the store. They 
could not escape, and were burned to death. Several other persons were caught 
in the wreck but managed to extricate themselves. Shortly after the fall of the 
walls of Hart's Building, the East walls of the Shakespeare Building fell into 
Sixth street. Two colored men, who were active in removing goods that were 
in danger, were crushed in this disaster; their names were never ascertained. 
The pecuniary loss by these fires, at Hart's and the Shakespeare Buildings was 
estimated to be $200,000. 

Two days after this great destruction, and while the ruins were yet 
smoking, people in the neighborhood of Sixth and Chestnut streets were startled 
by another alarm; about five o'clock in the afternoon of the 30th of December, 
a large brown-stone building, five stories in height, and situated at the South- 
east corner of Seventh and Chestnut streets, commonly known as Barnum's 
Museum, was discovered to be on fire. Barnum had made the establishment a 
branch of his museum in New York, and supplemented the display of figures 


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and curiosities with performances in the lecture-room, sometimes plays, songs, 
music, exhibitions of sleight-of-hand, ventriloquism, etc. There had been an 
exhibition in the lecture-room in the afternoon. Fortunately, the audience was 
not subjected to the danger of an attempt to escape by the only stairway which 
was connected with the upper stories. The flames were first discovered among 
the scenery; they .spread rapidly through the wings and flies, and were gradually 
carried downward until the whole building was enveloped and the walls fell in, 
and the whole structure was involved iu ruins. The Clymer Mansion, occupied 
by George Harri.son, on the East, was .slightly injured, and the fronts of the 
buildings on the opposite side of Chestnut street were severely scorched. The 
value of the building was estimated at $60,000, and the museum collection and 
fixtures at $50,000. The occupants of the stores beneath had sufficient time to 
remove the bulk of their valuable property, and excepting in counters, shelves 
and fixtures, they lost but little. 

A fire at the office of the Public Ledger, at the Southwest corner of Third 
and Chestnut streets, on the 5th of January, 1852, originated, it is believed, in 
a spontaneous combustion of some rags in the press-room. The flames were 
carried to the upper stories; the fourth and fifth stories were burned out, and the 
lower portions of the building flooded with water. The proprietor, with 
indomitable energy, determined that this occurrence should "not stop the 
press," and the next morning the Ledger came out as usual. 

There was a serious fire at James S. Earle's picture-gallery, on Chestnut 
street, in February, which destroyed many valuable paintings and other works 
of art. 

March 9th, 1852. A fire broke out in the lager beer brewery of Burgdell 
& Brother, on the Columbia Railroad; the building was soon destroyed, and the 
fire spread to an adjoining building, which was destroyed with the dwelling of 
one of the proprietors. 

A meeting was held on the 9th of January, 1853, in favor of the institution 
of a paid fire department. The numerous riots and disturbances, the murders 
and arsons, which resulted from the rivalry of firemen, Avere declared to be 
sufficient reasons for the abolition of the volunteer system. It had been very 
useful and respectable in its day, but a large number of the companies were 
dominated by rough fellows, who were much more ready to fight than to fires. Good reasons were presented for the measure, but it was too 
soon, as the firemen protested against this measure, and their influence was 
very powerful. Eighteen years more were necessary to roll by carrying with 
them annual records of misdemeanors, before the community was ready to take 
a step so far in advance of old customs. 

The steam fire-engine, which has in most all of the large cities of the 
Union, driven out the hand fire-engine, is a very late introduction. The first of 
these machines which was built in the world was made by Mr. Braithwaite, of 
London, in 1830. In 1832, he built an engine for the King of Prussia. In 1841, 
Mr. Hodges, of New York, built a steam fire-engine under a contract with the 
associated insurance companies of that city. The difficulty with all these 
machines was that they were too heavy. A. B. Eatta, of Cincinnati, in 1853, 
built what is generally considered to be the first practical steam fire-engine 
which could be used on ordinary occasions. 


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The Reformed Presbyterian Church, Third Congregation, was destroyed . 
by fire April 2nd, 1854. 

July 5th, 1 854. The National Theatre, on Chestnut street, was discovered 
to be on fire; the alarm was quickly sounded. Upon the arrival of the fire 
department, the building was a mass of flames, and the Chinese Museum 
adjoining had caught. Despite the efl"orts of the firemen, the buildings were 
soon in ruins, and the fire had spread to the block East of the circus. The stores 
in the basement of the circus with th^ir contents were destroyed. The large 
carriage factory of Herkness, on Ninth street, the Waverly Hotel, on Sansom 
street; Nicholson's dry goods store, School's eating-house, Bell's Hotel and 
George Eeibeck's lock factory, were entirely destroyed. A large portion of the 
goods of some of the stores were removed at great risk by the firemen, in fact, 
one of them lost his life while so occupied. The fire extended along the roofs 
of the buildings, on Chestnut street to Eighth and Ninth streets, and George 
street; the fire raged until daylight, burning the roofs off seven buildings on 
Sansom street. Forty building in all were destroyed. One fireman was killed 
by falling walls, and quite a number badly wounded. The loss amounted to 
over $500,000. 

October ist, 1854. The steam plaster mills, Callowhill street, with their 
contents were destroyed by fire; they were occupied by French & Co. Loss 


December isth, 1854. A fire broke out in the fourth story of Edward's 
Block, 181 Chestnut street. It rapidly spread from floor to floor, and in a short 
time the whole block was in flames; the fire soon communicated to 180, occupied 
by Saflford & Cokeman, and W. H. Caugle as a furniture warehouse, which was 
destroyed with Edward's Block. The walls of the building fell, which caused 
the fire to spread to Hamel's furniture store, corner of Fifth street, which was 
occupied by E. L. Walker for a salesroom of Chickering's pianos, and by 
Stagman & Brother, music dealers. The buildings, with the contents, were 
entirely consumed. The fire extended along Fifth street to Minor, destroying 
the saddlery store of Eacey & Philips, and the old so-called Jefferson Wigwam. 
This was the very building in which Thomas Jefferson drew up the Declaration 
of American Independence In the rear of Edward's Block, it destroyed 
Henkle's establishment; the fire raged fiercely, and at one time threatening the 
State-House and city buildings, but owing to the good work on part of the 
firemen, they were saved. It continued to burn with unpar ailed fury for several 


In February 1855, there was brought to Philadelphia for exhibition, a 
large steam fire-engine, called the "Miles Greenwood." This machine was 
trie'd at Dock-Street Wharf the hose used being loaned for the occa- 
sion by the Philadelphia Hose Company. The trial was witnessed by a large 
number of people, including a number of firemen, and the general feeling 
was that the steam fire-engine was a failure, which it certainly was as regarded 
her power to throw water to a distance; her performances in that line not being 
equal to many of the hand-engines then in use. 

In May of the same year, A. Shawk, of Cincinnati, brought on here a 
fire-engine called, "The Young America," which he was very anxious to sell 

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to the city. There was a trial of the machine in the yard of the County Prison 
on the 23d of May, and afterward on the ist of June, in front of the Presbyterian 
Church, Arch street, above Tenth. There was also a trial on the 4th of June, 
at the foot of Dock street. Shawk asked $9,500 for the machine, and the city 
not being willing to pay, the amount was subscribed by citizens, and the engine 
was presented to the city, which found itself in consequence, in the position of 
the man who won the elephant at a raffle. A house was built for the machine, on 
a lot belonging to the city, at the corner of Front and Noble streets. An engineer 
and assistants were engaged at a salary, and everything was ready to make "The 
Young America" a success. But there was a want of horses to drag it to fires, 
and also a want of good workmanship to keep its parts together. It was 
continually getting out of order or breaking down. Its weight was 20,000 
pounds, and in the three years, during which the city attempted to keep it in 
service, it cost the treasury a dollar a pound, or ^20,000, for repairs and 
maintenance. During that period, "The Young America" was attempted to be 
taken to a fire (June 30, 1856), at the corner of Fifteenth and Hamilton streets, 
but she broke an axle before she reached the ground. She was at the fire at 
the corner of Third and Race streets, in July of that year, and she also did the 
best service in her history at the fire at Magargee's lumber yard, in October 
1856. Beyond these services, "The Young America" had no history but that 
of expense. 

The first steam fire-engine employed by a regular fire company of 
Philadelphia was the "Fire-Fly," which was built in New York, and which was 
the property of the firm of Arthur, Burnham & Gilroy, manufacturers, of that 
city. They offered to place it in the charge of the Philadelphia Hose Company, 
for use free of expense. This was in January, 1857. The "Fire-Fly" was tried 
on the 2d of February of that year at the tobacco-house in Dock street. 

In April, the Philadelphia Hose Company resolved to have an engine of 
their own, and they invited the mechanics of the city to make plans of such a 
machine. Mr. Joseph L. Perry responded, and he proposed to build an engine 
weighing 5,500 pounds, which would throw through a i}i inch nozzle, 194 feet 
horizontally, and through a /"e inch nozzle, 175 feet. The price to be $3,500. 
This machine was built by Barney & Co., of Kensington, A short while after- 
ward, the Diligent Fire Company, undeterred by previous experience sought to 
become the custodian of the "Big Squirt," alias "The Young America." They 
succeeded; but she continually wanted repairs, and she was tinkered at by 
Shawk & McCausland, of this city. Finally, she was cut down and rebuilt by 
McCausland and made much lighter, and she was after.wards put into active 


The Hope Hose Company procured a steam fire-engine in June 1858. 

The Hibernia was the next steam fire engine, which was obtained from 
Rainey & Co., in January 1859. 

The mania for these machines now began to rage with great power, and 
during that year twenty steam fire-engines were built for fire companies in the 
city. And so the passion extended from company to company, until the old 
hand-engine was so thoroughly superseded in the built-up parts of the city that 
its appearance is unknown to a large portion of the present generation, and it is 
almost forgotten by their seniors. 

Nos. 236 and 238 New Street. 

THOMAS E. HODSTON, Proprietor. 

Goods Called for and delivered to any part of the 

City Free of Charge. Also in Germantown, 

Darby, Camden, Merchantville, Had- 

donfield, N. J., and all Philadelphia 




TJndbrtakkr * 

— s^AND^s — 

^ Embalmkr, 

241 North Fourthi St. 

Personal Attention Given. 



Up to 1S55, the fire department was without any supervision beyond that 
which was given by the companies to the board of directors, and this was 
advisory, rather than absolute. Until the consolidation of the city and districts, 
it was impossible to control the fire companies, except by the district corporations 
and any general system which should govern all could not be established. As 
soon as consolidation was effected, the politicians began to take measures which 
would make the department useful to their own purporse. 

On January 30th, 1855, the City Councils passed an ordinance directing 
that the fire department should consist of such regularly organised engine, hose 
and hook-and-ladder companies within the limits of the City of Philadelphia as 
should, within sixty days after the passage of the ordinance, "express by 
resolution, duly attested by the officers thereof, their willingness to comply 
with its provisions." The officers of the department were to be a chief 
engineer, seven assistants and a director for each company, who was to represent 
his company in the board of directors of the fire department. This board of 
directors were to ballot for three persons from each fire district for chief 
engineer, from which persons Councils were to elect; the assistant engineers 
were to be chosen in a like manner. The city was divided into seven districts, 
and the area within which the fire companies were to serve was regulated. 
There were also provisions, limiting the members of each company and a 
promise of an annual appropriation to each company not exceeding 54°°- This 
ordinance created great dissatisfaction in the department, and many companies 
refused to accept it. These were called "the non-accepting companies," and 
some of them remained out of service for several months, finall)^ the ordinance 
was modified in several important particulars, and the companies came back 
into service. Under this ordinance, the first election for chief engineer took 
place in March 1855, by the board of directors, and resulted in that body as 
follows : Benjamin A. Shoemaker, of the United States Engine Company, 40 
votes; Samuel P. Fearon, of the Schuylkill Hose Company, 40 votes; T. H. 
Black, of the Philadelphia Hose, 39 votes. The result was referred to Councils, 
which elected B. A. Shoemaker to serve until December, 1856. 

The police and fire-alarm telegraph, which was established in the year 
1856, changed very materially the mode of giving alarms. The old system of 
district and fire-company bells, and of the alarm from the State-House, was 
modified by alarms given to the central telegraph-office, from the station-box 
nearest a fire, which was immediately sent to all the station-boxes in the 
city, and in a short time these boxes were placed in the hose and engine 
houses, thus their members had the earliest information of the breaking out of 
a fire. 

April nth, 1856. The Artisans' Building, an immense structure, situated 
in the rear of Chestnut and Fourth streets, was destroyed by fire. Every part of 
the building was occupied by artisans, and the loss in stock and pictures was 
very heavy. Forty steam-power presses, which were in the building, were 
entirely destroyed. The building was owned by H. Cowperthwaite; the loss 
amounted to ;^2oo,ooo. 

May 1st, 1856. A fire broke out in Jessup & Moore's paper warehouse, 
on North street, and spread rapidly before a Northwest gale, through to Com- 





OFFICE: '^K':^^^^''%^Sl^'^^^s WORKS 

204 N. FOURTH T^M^^^^'^'^^^m'^K'^^^^^^^'^m^r^ AT 


4,;JJv^«WSr^ggJ|.: ^j3_^ ^t??; .I't H BRIDGETON, 

PHILADELPHIA, Jr^^-^i^-'- '^M^^^'^<^^^ 

PA i'*y^l^3s^ .-'^''Wt.;, Wm NEW JERSEY. 

Steam Engines and Boilers. Steam Heating Apparatus. 

Wrougiit Iron Pipe and Fittings, 







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(^Olbur[)'5 (pi7ilad(^lpl7ia) /T\iJ5tard, 

<$olbur9'$ [auT)dry Blue. 



merce street, thence to Market street, consuming the buildings on the Eastern 
side of Sixth street to Market street. On Market street the heaviest losers were 
Braglej' & Wood, grocers; Wilson, Rogers & Fales, straw goods dealers; Lesick, 
Raison & Co., boots and shoes; Knight's hardware store, and Wickersham & 
Sons. The loss on South street was also very large, and a more exciting scene 
had never been seen in Philadelphia. Most of the buildings were occupied by 
families; they conveyed their goods, when their houses caught fire, into the 
street, and any price was offered for wagons to convey their household effects to 
a place of safety; the fire burned so fiercely that piles of furniture in the street 
were consumed before conveyances could be procured. A number of buildings 
on the West side of Sixth street, including the City Bank, on the corner of 
Farmer street, were badly damaged. Five buildings, adjoining the Jessup & 
Moore's warehouse, were destro^'ed. The fire crossed Market street, below 
Sixth street, doing considerable damage to the buildings in that vicinity. The 
high wind carried the sparks in every direction, setting fire to the silk store of 
John Kiehl & Sons, on Chestnut street, above Seventh; the roof was partially 
burned, and nothing but the exertions on part of the firemen saved the entire 
block. On St. James street. West of Sixth street, a number of small dwellings 
were destroyed, and a large school-house, belonging to the Society of Friends. 
John R. Groff, a fireman and a returned volunteer from Mexico, was killed by 
the falling of walls, and quite a number of persons were wounded. Loss ovei 

On the istof June, 1S57, Mayor Vaux, established a separate department 
of the police, which was specially charged with the duty of ascertaining by a 
rigid investigation the origin of fires, and of discovering incendiaries; they were 
called the "Fire Dectective Police," and Alexander W. Blackburn was 
appointed the chief of that department. He afterwards received the title of 
"Marshal of Police." 

On the 3d of June, 1857, the Melodeon Building, which occupied a site 
on Chestnut street, above Sixth, was burned down after a performance by a 
band of negro minstrels, known as Myers & Eandis' Virginia Serenaders. It 
had been built in 1854, on the walls of the old Bolivar House, and it turned out 
to be an unfortunate speculation. David Matthews, a member of the American 
Hose Company, was killed by falling walls at this fire. 

Early on the morning of February iSth, 1862, soon after the workmen 
had entered upon their labors for the day at the Bridesburg Arsenal, a fire broke 
out in a one-story building, used for the manufacture of friction primers, 
percussion caps, bullets, fuses, etc. For a time it threatened to do serious 
damage, but by the united efforts of the city firemen (two companies were soon 
on the ground), Frankford firemen and the employees of the arsenal, most of the 
ammunition was saved, and a large part of the valuable machinery removed. 
The fire originated in the department used for the cutting and packing of fuses, 
and was caused by the friction of the circular .saw with which the fuses were 
cut. From the fuses first ignited, it spread to some in boxes. At this period the 
workmen fled from the room; fearing an explosion; one of the employees was 
slightly burned. The range of shops was burned in the upper portion, the only 
ammunition destroyed being a few fuses and 10,000 pounds of bullets. When 

Knickerbocker Ice Company, 



ICE 7ind"com:j 


Ice Tools, Wagons and Machinery for Filling 
Ice Houses, Etc. 


Thomas E. Van Dyke, Jr. 



JAMES C. BAXTER, Jr., Asst. Engineer, 4tli District. 
President of Pension Fund. 


the fire broke out, a wagon, containing six barrels of gunpowder was hauled 
in front of the building, and the driver becoming alarmed, ran and left his load 
in that dangerous position. One of the workmen took the horse by the head 
and led him off. During the course of the fire, a number of barrels of powder 
were carried to a place of safety by the firemen. Measures were at once taken 
for the speedy repairing of the workshops, and in ten days they were in a better 
condition than before the fire. During the time of repair the ammunition which 
was being made for the Government, and of which it was so much in need of 
just at that time, was manufactured at the factory of Mr. Jenks, and others, in 
the City of Philadelphia 

The most serious fire that had happened in this city, up to this time, 
occurred about ten minutes after two o'clock on the morning of February 8th, 
1865. The large coal oil establishment on Washington avenue, above Ninth 
street, carried on in the name of Wm. Blackburn & Co., was set on fire and 
totally'rdestroyed, along with fifty-one other buildings, among which were 
numerous dwellings. When the fire started, there was over 1,500 barrels of 
petroleum in the factory, and the bursting barrels scattered the burning oil far 
and wide, setting fire to every combustible thing in which they came in contact. 
In an incredible short time, all the streets in the neighborhood were a living 
sheet of roaring flames, surrounding the dwellings and cutting off the escape of 
the inmates. Six persons were burned to death, and over joo were left hou.seless 
and penniless, in fact the majority only saving what they had on. This fire at 
the time created the greatest excitement. Subscriptions poured in from all 
sides for the homeless and bereaved people. Several of the theatrical companies 
and managers of the theatres gave their entire receipts. Mr. Sinn, at that 
time manager of the Chestnut-Street Theatre, was the first to come forward. 
Miss Ivucille Western, though at Washington when the fire occurred, immediately 
wrote through her manager, Mr. Albert Cassedy, offering to give a benefit 
performance, which kind ofifer was accepted, and netted the sum of $3,869.50 
In Common Council, a Mr. Wolbert offered a resolution appropriating $15,000 
for the relief of the sufferers by the fire; it was agreed to. This dreadful fire 
was some time afterwards discovered to be the work an incendiary; it having 
been kindled by a member of a volunteer company who had started the confla- 
gration for the purpose of having a fight with a rival company. I think all the 
readers of this volume will join me in saying, "I envy not the man who started 
that fire." Prior to this time, there was no law in regard to the storage of 
petroleum, but this fire woke up the community to the fact that something must 
be done; accordingly, on February 9th, in both Select and Common Councils, 
numerous petitions were presented. 

The following account was given by an eye-witness to the partial destruc- 
tion of Union League House: On the night of September 7th, 1866, a banquet 
was given at the Continental Hotel by the Union League to the Loyal Southern 
League, on the occasion of their visit to Philadelphia; and right royally were 
they received and welcomed. The dishes were composed of all the delicacies, 
and the wines were superb. Anecdotes and repartee, interspersed with songs 
and speeches, made the hours roll swiftly by, and brought midnight most 
provokingly close. But I was loth to leave, and lingered on, listening to a 



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Maniifaclurcrs of 

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gentleman from Georgia, who was relating an amusing anecdote, when the door 
of the hall was flung open and a gentleman, in an excited manner, announced, 
"The Union League House is on fire !" Had a shell fallen through the roof on 
the table, a greater scramble for the door could not have been made. Chairs 
were overturned, napkins thrown on the table, and in a far shorter time than I 
can relate it the guests werdlout of the room and into the street. I was among 
the first to reach the pavement, and, overtaking Lou. Chasteau and Drayt 
Lewis, hurried West towards Broad street. But hurry as we did, the firemen 
were there before us, for ere we reached Broad street we passed fire-engines 
panting and puffing as if out of breath with their tremendous exertion, while 
showers of sparks from the smoke-stacks filled the air in such profusion as to 
threaten the buildings in the vicinity. Turning the corner of Broad street, the 
uncertain rumor assumed the character of a fixed and painful fact, for there 
stood the beautiful structure with the flames blazing out of the roof in a perfect 
tempest of fire and smoke, rolling and tumbling and roaring as it burst into great 
sheets of brilliant flame, or darted out quick, venomous tongues that licked the 
building like some monster preparing its prey before engulfing it into its fiery 
maw. The whole roof was apparently on fire, and although the steam-engines 
gathered thick and fast in the street, it really seemed as if it would be impossible 
to arrest the progress of the flames, but that the whole edifice must be completely 
burned out. 

The crowd grew larger every moment, but there was the greatest quiet 
and order. Every one seemed to have a sense of personal loss, as if he were 
gazing upon the destruction of his own property and could not express his 
sorrow in language. Presently, ho'wever, one of the engines threw the first 
stream upon the outer portion of the burning building, and then loud cries went 
up from the crowd, and another stream was poured upon it and ladders were 
reared against the walls preparatory to a nearer approach to the mighty element 
whose encroachment the firemen were about to dispute. Far above the burning 
mass stood the flag-staff bearing aloft the old flag, which was now flapping and 
beating as the hot current of air rolled past it. The smaller flags were also 
there, and it seemed that they were all doomed to destruction. But while men 
were regretting the uselessness of an attempt to save them, the figures of four 
men suddenly appeared upon the roof of the tower at the foot of the flag-staff". 
They gazed upwards, but the halyards were burned and beyond their reach; 
'twas but a moment when one of the men was shoved up the staff" by the others, 
and his hand fortunately caught the swaying line and the next moment the 
flag was lowered without a star dimmed or a stripe scorched. Then a mighty 
cheer went up from the street below and increased in intensity until it was a 
perfect hurricane of hurrahs, as the undaunted firemen bravely standing their 
ground, cut loose the smaller flags which floated down through the tempest of 
fire and the whirling, eddying smoke. 

Although too far off to recognize the faces of the noble fellows, I plainly 
read the "12" on the hat-front of one of them, I at once darted into the League 
House and up the stairs, when I met one of our fellows of the old Franklin, 
Nick Blundin, coming in off" the roof with the dear old flag in his arms. Meeting 
Blundin a few months afterward, I commended him on his intrepidity and 



117 and 119 SOUTH TENTH STREET, 









If thou art a masten 
be sometimes blind, 

If a servant, some- 
times deaf. 

If a wife, feed your 
husband on 

Buckwheat all the time. 


bravery, when he drew from his pocket an envelope, which contained the 
following official vote of thanks from the Union League : 

Union Leaguk House, 
PhiladeIvPHia, November 15, 1866. 
Nicholas Blundin, Esq., 

Dear Sir : — I am instructed by the Board of Directors of the Union League 
of Philadelphia, to thank you, in the name of the League, for your courageous 
and valuable services at the fire on our premises on the 7th of September 1866, 
and to transmit to you the enclosed check as a testimonial of our acknowledg- 
ment of your conduct on that occasion. 

With my best wishes, I have the honor to be 
Your obedient servant, 

Geo. H, Boker, Secretary. 

On June 21, 1867, President Johnson passed through Philadelphia on his 
famous "swing around the circle" tour. A public reception was given him, 
and the Chief Engineer, David M. Lyle, ordered a detail of twelve men from 
each company to represent the Fire Department in the procession. All of the 
companies, instead of sending the delegation as ordered, turned out a great 
many more men. The Franklin Company sent 120 men with the Jefferson 
Cornet Band. Along the route of the parade the companies were loudly cheered 
and applauded by some favorable to the administration, whilst on the other 
hand, they received scowls and curses from others. As the firemen passed the 
Continental Hotel they received an ovation, whilst "Fighting" Bob Evans, a 
well-known member of Council from the Fifteenth ward, shook his fist, and 
loudly exclaimed : "We'll fix you for this !" The matter was treated as an idle 
threat from the erratic Councilman, but at the next meeting of the Council 
what was the surprise of the Franklin Fire Company when the indomitable 
member from the Fifteenth arose in his seat and presented a bill "changing the 
location of the Franklin Steam Fire Company from Catharine street, above 
Third, to Branchtown in the Twenty-Second Ward." Several members jumped 
to their feet and moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Fire and 
Trusts, which, after an exciting debate, was carried. After a great deal of hard 
work the bill was put to sleep in the Committee, or "Fighting Bob" would have 
had the grim satisfaction of carrying out his fierce threat. As it was, the boys 
were pretty well scared, but none regretted the part they took in the great crime 
of honoring the President of the United States whilst on a visit to the "City of 
Brotherly Love." 

In 1868, when the bill to create a paid department was before Select 
Council, a great crowd of firemen and their friends gained possession of the 
gallery and openly threatened those who were bold enough to advocate a paid 
system. Then it was that William S. Stokley, who was afterwards Director of 
Public Safety, showed the unflinching courage which has on several occasions 
since marked his public career. Mr. Stokley, who at that time represented the 
Tenth Ward in the Select Council, led the move to abolish the volunteer 
system. Despite the threats of a swarm of Plug-Uglies in the gallery, he delivered 






804 TO 808 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. 


3045 ^l^estput Street, 


Ori^ame^tal Iroi^ U/ork, 

Builders* Iron, Columns, Beams, Stairs, 

Doors, Shutters, Guards, Grilles, 

Wire Work. 

Vault Lights, Railings, Stable Fixtures. 




Ho. 221 North Fourth Street. 




a bitter speech against the old system, and when, pointing his finger directly at 
the gallery, he recalled the great oil fire and stated that there were men in the vol- 
unteer department who were professional incendiaries for the purpose of plunder 
and theft, pandemonium reigned a few moments. Amid the storm Stokley kept 
his feet, and when the outburst had subsided the plucky speaker, shaking his 
finger at the gallery throng, calmly said: "Ruffians, that you are, you have 
unconsciously' done the city a great good. By your very actions this afternoon 
you have proved the truth of every charge that I have made." 

One of the most destructive fires that occurred up to this time, August 
4th, 1869, was caused by the burning of Wm. Patterson's Bonded Warehoure, 
then situated at the corner of Front and Pine streets. Five men were killed at 
this fire, and the loss amounted to over ;$2,ooo,ooo. 

Following will be found a list of the volunteer fire companies instituted 
in the city from the earliest times. It will be noticed that several companies 
have had the same name. This has resulted from the dis.solution of old 
companies and the formation of new ones, which, in ignorance, took names that 
had been previousty in use, and also from the fact that under the system in 
vogue before consolidation, it was not considered improper in the cit}' to adopt 
the name of a fire company existing in an incorporated district, or vice versa. 


Union Fire. 

Fellowship Fire 

Hand-in-Hand Fire... 

Heart-in-Hand Fire 

Friendship Fire . . . 

Star Fire 

Brittannia Fire 

Hibernia Fire 

Northern Liberty Fire. 

Vigilant Fire 

King George III., afterwards Dela- 

Fellowship Fire, of Lower Ward, 

afterward Columbia Fire 

Fellowship Fire, of Upper Ward, 

afterward Franklin Fire 

Fellowship Fire, of Middle Ward, 

afterward Washington Fire 

Queen Charlotte, afterward Fame 


Amei ican Fire 

Sun Fire 

Crown and Beaver Fire 

Cordwainer Fire 

New Market Fire 

Amicable Fire 

Neptune Fire 

Sun Fire. 

Harmony Fire 

Endeavor Fire 

Reliance Fire 

When Founded 
Dec. 7, 1736 

Jan. I. 1738... 
March r, 1742. 
Feb. 22, 1743 . 
July 30, 1747.. 
Jan. 4, 1749 . 
Prior to 1751. . 
Jan. 20, 1752. . 
May I, 1756... 

Jan. 2, 1760 

March 21, 1761... . 
Feb. 20, 1764 

Original Location. 

Grind.stone Alley, near Market 

March i, 1764. 
March 5, 1764. 

March 29th, 1764.. 
Before Dec. 1764.. 
Bef. Feb. 28, 1765 
Bef. March, 1765. . 
Before Feb. 1769.. 

March i, 1769 

Aug. 7, 1769 

Jan. 17, 1774 

Sept. 24, 1778 

Aug. 24, 1784 

Feb. 17, 1785 

March 10, 1786 

Cor. 2d and Walnut Sts 

N. E. cor. Cable Lane and Callow- 
hill Street. 
East side 2d, below Vine, 

Water, below Arch. 




N. side Cherry, E. of 4th. 

N. end market, 2d and Pine. 
Fifth, above Market. 
Race, below Third. 

East end Jersey market 

Harmony Court, near 3d. 

Key's Alley, b. Front and 2d. 



Wines, Lipois, Gipis, Etc. 


Delaware pveiiue and Gaiiowtiiil Slreei, 

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or $5.00 on one of $20.00 by having 


made to order, or one already made, at 




S. E. Corner Uth and South Streets, 




When Founded Original Location. 


Alarm Fire 

Assistance Fire 

Federal, afterward America Fire. 

Relief Fire 

Diligent Fire 

Kensington Fire 

Franklin Fire 

Washington Fire 

Humane Fire 

Washington Fire 

Friendship, N. Liberties 

Columbia Fire 

Hope Fire 

Resolution Fire 

Whale Fire 

Philadelphia Fire 

Weccacoe Fire 

Good Will Fire 

-, afterward Decatur Fire 

Philadelphia Hose 

Good Intent Hose 

Resolution Hose 

Mount Airy Fire 

Humane Hose , 

Perseverance Hose 

Neptune Hose 

Hope Hose 

Columbia Hose 

Southwark Fire 

Southwark Hose 

Pennsylvania Fire 

United States Hose. . . 

Phcenix Fire 

Star Fire 

Columbia Fire 

Protectors of Property 

Washington Hose 

United States Fire . . 


Niagara Fire 

Charitable Fire 

Venerable Fire 

Defiance Fire 

Phceni.x Hose I Aug. 25 

May I, 1787., . 
Dec. 28, 1789. 
April ID, 1790. 

December, 1791. 

July 4, 1791 

August, 1791 

Jan. 17, 1792 

Jan. I, 1793 

March i, 1794.. . 

Jan. 3, 1796 

Aug. 18, 1796. , . 
Sept 16, 1796. . . 
Nov. 22, 1796. . . 

Jan. 1, 1797 

Jan. I, 179S 

Jan. 15, 1799 •••• 
May I, iSoo .... 
March 27, 1S02. . 
Feb. 15, 1803... . 
Dec. 15, 1803 . . . 
March 8, 1804 . . 
April II, 1804.. . 

Feb. 9, 1804 

April 10, 1805. . . 

May 27, 1805 

Aug. 6, 1805. . . . 
Aug. 17, 1805... 

May I, 1806 

Before Jan. 1806 

May 6, 1806 

May 16, 1806... . 

September 1807.. , 
Before Dec. 1808. 
Before June, 1808. 

March 6, 1809 

Before Dec. 1810. 

Feb. 22, 1811 . 

Oct. 29, i8n 


Bef. June, 1817. 

Fame Hose . . . 

Junior Fire 

Pennsylvania Hose 

Free Will Bucket 

Liberty Bucket 

Union Bucket 

West Philadelphia Fire 
Independent Fire 


Jan. I, 1818.... 
Bef. July 1818. 

Bef. Nov. 1S18. 

E. side Fifth, below Race. 

In front Commissioner's Hall, 3d 

below Tammany. 
Relief Alley, near Second. 
S. side Market, near 8ih. 

Powell St., bet. 5th and 6th. 

Frank ford. 

N. side Vine, bet. 2d and 3d. 

W. side nth, below Walnut. 

End marktt, 2d and Coates. 

Cor. Sth and Cherry. 

S. side Pine, bet. 4th and 5th. 

N. W. cor. 3d and Spruce. 

Cor. Front and Christian. 

N, W. cor. Juniper and Race. 


No. 17 N. Fourth Street. 

E. side 4th, below Chestnut. 

W. side 3d, below Market. 

Mount Airy. 

N. side Vine, bet. 2d and 3d. 

S. side Vine, bet. 5th and 6th. 

Fetter Lane, above 3d St. 

N. end market, 2d and Pine. 

S. side Cherry, above 7th. 

Almond, near Front. 

N. side Almond, E. Front. 

Fromberger's Court, bet. 2d and 

3d Streets. 
S. E. cor. 6th and Walnut. 
St. James Street, East 7th. 


Hartung's Alley, East 3d. 

W. side 8th, below Market. 

Bridge crossing Pegg's Run, 2d 

and Willow. 
Chestnut Hill. 
Zane Street, above Seventh. 

Nov. 18, iSiS 

Bef. Jan. 14, 1819. 

N. side Zane, above 7th. 
S. E. cor. Walnut and 5th. 
Cor. 5th and Sassafras Alley. 

S. W. cot. 12th and Clover. 

• ••••••• 

• •••••••• 

John Harrison. Oeorge L. Harrison. Thomas S. Harrison. 

Pairisog Biolleis i Co. 


iianeipi, Pa. 

• ••••••• 

• •••••••• 


Name. When Founded. Original Location. 

Fellowship Fire 

Union Fire 

Good Intent 

Good Intent Fire 

Humane Bucket 

Humane Fire, No. 2 

Franklin Hose 

Columbia Bucket 

Amicable Bucket 

Schuylkill Hose 

Penn Township Hose 

Spring Garden Fire 

Globe Fire 

Goodwill Bucket 

Diligent Bucket 

Washington Bucket 

Diligent Hose 

Point Pleasant Fire 

United States Bucket 

Fame Bucket 

Globe Bucket 

Independent Bucket 

Northern Liberty Bucket. 

Fairmount Fire , 

Monroe Fire ♦. 

Hibernia Hose 

United States Hose 

Southwark Fire 

Niagara Hose 

Northern Liberty Hose . 

America Hose 

Jackson Engine 

William Penn Hose 

Robert Morris Hose 

Independence Hose 

Pennsylvania Hose 

Lafayette Hose 

Good Will Hose 

Marion Hose 

Western Hose 

Schuylkill Hose 

Goodwill Hose 

Western Hose 

Fame Fire 

Moyamensing Hose 

Manayunk Fire 

Franklin Hose 

William Penn Fire 

Warren Hose 

Mechanic Fire..., 

March 3, 1819 

March 10, 1819. . . 

, 1819 

April 26, 1819. . . . 
Before May, 1819. 
Before July, 1819 

Before Sept. 1819. 

Before Jan. 1820. 

Before May, 1820. 

May 22, 1820 

May, 1S20 

Bef June, 1820.. . 

June 30, 1820 

Before July, 1820. 
Before Oct. 1820. 
Before Nov. 1820. 
Before May, 1821. 

Feb. 22, 1823.. 
March 8, 1823. 
March, 1823. . . 
Ju'y 4, 1826 .. . 
Feb. 5, 1827 . . 

March 20, 1827. 

May 7, 1828 

Sept. 2, 1828... 
Bef. Nov. 1828. 
Feb. 3, 1830 . . . 
March 14, 1831 
July 4, 1831.... 
Aug. 4, 1831... 
Oct. 31, 1833... 
Bef. Jan. 1833. . 
Aug. 19, 1833.. 
Bef. Sept. 1833. 
Dec. 9, 1833.... 
March i, 1834.. 
Feb. II, 1836... 
July 25, 1836.,. 
July 22, 1837. . . 

Jan. I, 1837 

Feb, 12, 1838.. 
Bef. Dec. 1838. 

Aug. 14, 1839. . 

Western Fire April 7th, 1840. 

Jackson Hose | Sept. 27, 1840. . 


Rising Sun. 


Prince and Frankford road. 

E. side 8th, below Race. 

Germantown road, near 2d. 
N. side Race, W. Juniper. 

Morgan, between 9th and loth. 
Pt. Pleasant, Kensington. 

Ridge road, above Wood St. 
Monroe Village. 
Walnut, between Front and 2d. 
Old York road, below Green. 
Front Commissioner's Hall, 2d 

above Christian. 
Third below Catherine. 
Budd below Coates. 
Cor. Si.xth and Walnut. 

Public Square, Ken. 
N. W. cor. 9th and Lombard. 
Germantown road and 2d. 
8th above Spring Garden. 
Eleventh above Coates. 

Queen, east of Sixth. 

Schuy, 8th below Market. 

Locust above Twefth. 

Callowhill near Sch. 2d. 

Spruce near Sch. 4th. 

S side Filbert W. of loth. 

Eighth below South St. 


South bet. 13th and Broad. 

Sch. Sixth below Filbert. 

N. W. cor. Ridge road and Coates 

N. W. cor. Schuy, 8th and Callow- 
hill Streets. 

Callowhill below Second. 




Fine and Fancy Groceries, 

2920 Market Street. 






When Founded. Original Location. 

Liberty Fire 

VVeccacoe Hose 

Kensington Hose 

Carroll Hose 

Hibernia Hose 

Native American, afterward Vigilant 


Spring Garden Hose 

Shiffler Hose 

West Philadelphia Fire. 

South Penn Hose 

Fairmount Hose 

Ringgold Hose 

Wissahickon Fire 

Franklin Fire. . . 

Independence Fire 

Germantown Hose 

General Taylor Hose. . . . . 

Spring Garden Fire 

Empire Hook-and-Ladder. 

Eagle Hose 

Relief Hook-aod-Ladder 

Bustleton Fire ^ 

Rittenhouse Fire 

Fellowship Hose 

Keystone Hook-and-Ladder 

Protection Hook-and-Ladder 

Nicetown Hose 

Jefferson Hook-and-Ladder 

Rescue Hook-and-Ladder 

United Hose 

Excelsior Hook-and-Ladder, after- 
wards Excelsior Hose 

Mantua Hook-and-Ladder 

Tivoli Hose 

, afterwards Lincoln Hose 

Union Hose 

West Philadelphia Hose 

Cohocksink Hose 

Kingsessing Fire 

Jan. I, 1841. . . 
Jan 8, 1842 . . . 
Jan. II, 1842. . 
Oct. 17, 1842.. 
Nov. 22, 1842. 

July 4, 1844.. 
May 12, 1845 
Jan. 8, 1846.. 

March 27, 1846. 
Feb. 10, 1847 . . 
March 27, 1847. 
Dec. 29, 1847... 

Jan. S, 1847 

April I, 1848.. . 
May II, 1848. . . 
May 18, 1848... 
July 12, 1851... 
Feb, 6, 1S51 ... 

Sept. 25, 1851. 
Jan. 5, 1852.... 
Before 1852. . 


Feb. 6, 1852 . . . 
March 13, 1852. 


Jan. 27, 1853 ., 

Jan. 28, 1853... 
March 14, 1855 
June I, 1855.... 
Junes, 1855.... 

April, 1856 

May 10, 1856... 
Sept. 26, 1856 . 
Oct. 28,1857... 

Catharine below Front. 
Queen Street, Ken. 
Washington above Master. 

Master Street, near Third. 

Federal Street, below Sth. 
Parrish Street, below 12th. 
Moyamensing road below Federal 

Market Street beyond Permanent 

loth near Thompson. 
Ridge road above Willow. 
Randolph and Franklin. 


Callowhill and William. 


East side Franklin Street above 

Green Hill. 

Coates above Eleventh. 
Filbert near Sch. 6th. 
Front near Phoenix. 



25th and Brandy wine. 
Mantua Village. 

Germantown road. 

For many years the subject of abolishing the old volunteer fire department 
and establishing a paid system, largely occupied the public mind. The volunteer 
department was a power. It was no child's play to destroy an organization 
which the habits and need of years had made a living thing, and which was 
endeared to the people by acts of the noblest heroism. For many years it had 
served the community faithfully without reward, and rendered valuable and 
important service. It had numbered many brave and generous men in its 
organization, and could boast of many deeds of gallantry, self-sacrifice and 
heroism. The old system, however, not only trained bold and expert firemen, 

J. E. galdveijl s eo. 

©iarrjo'rit) Mercftaat>A 



Sterling- Silver, 
Cut Crystal, 
Fine Porcelains, 
Ornamental Lamps, 

Hall Clocks. 
Mantel Clocks, 
Clock Sets, 
Art Porcelains, 

©if paintirigA 


©ftoice ©y/afer ©oPorx*), 
From the Leading Studios of the Old World, 


ng divided into magnificently appointed 
lepartments, affords unprecedented opportu- 
"ties to purchasers of every class. 

J\rt (^aPPeriexiy, 
(i)ftoa5 J^oomx<), 

©Pocft SJaPPerieA. 


but eventually gave rise to evils of the greatest magnitude. The spirit of rivalry 
not only produced competition in battling with the flames, but led to constant 
disorders and breaches of the peace. 

The advocates of the paid sj^stem saw plainly the impossibility of 
separating the good from the bad men who had attached themselves to the 
volunteer department. Nothing but the destruction of the good and commendable 
part would eradicate the evils which all deplored. They conceded the historical 
facts, of which all were so proud, but at the same time pointed to the disgrace 
which was inseparably connected with the department. They asserted that a 
volunteer department and acts of lawlessness were concomitants, and it had 
become evident that nothing but the complete destruction of the volunteer 
system would secure the results desired. The ordinance, creating the paid 
system, was passed in 1870, and the volunteer fire department was a thing of 
the past. 

jii^i3rj i i]3ni i]nniiirn'iiiiiiiivinin]i]n;ivnnYiiinjir 


P^IRT 11. 

*I^7IF^^HE Board of Commssioners of the new Paid Fire Department met and 
^cl^ organized on January 3, 1871. The Department went into operation 
1^:^:^ March 15th, of the same year. The results which have followed the 
institution of the Paid Fire Department are the best encomiums which can be paid 
it. The startling alarm-bell, instead of being heard at almost any hour of the 
night, sending forth notes of horror from its brazen throat, is now silent. The 
institution of the Fire- Alarm Telegraph, which is the great auxiliary of the 
Department, is another great blessing — the alarm comes noiselessly over the 
wires, telling its tale with unerring accuracy. At the first stroke of the gong in 
the engine-house, the firemem, springing from their places, rush to the horses, 
and in a fraction of a minute the harness is on and they are on their way to the 
scene of the fire. Nothing is heard but the rumbling of the wheels of the engine 
and hose-carriage, the quick steps of the horses and the occasional sounding of 
the gong which is given en-route. There are no loud words spoken, no hooting 
or howling, and no street-fights. The same daring, the heroism, which charac- 
terized the volunteer firemen, is displayed by their successors. Tremendous 
streams of water are poured incessantly on the burning building, and as the 
angry flames burst forth, the fiat of the fireman goes forth : "Thus far shalt thou 
go, but no farther !" Sinew and muscle will fail, the strenght of men will grow 
to weakness, but the iron muscles and steel arms of the engine are tireless— no 
exertion can them, no labor affect them. ' As soon as the fire is 
extinguished, the horses, apparatus and men return to their places. Such is the 
practical working of the Philadelphia Fire -Department— a model in every 
particular, a source of pride to the city and a credit and honor to those who 
compose it. 

The First Board of Fire Commissioners w^as composed of Jacob Louden- 
slager, president, Joseph R. Lyndall, George W. Plumly, William A. Porter, 
John G. Butler, William F. McCully and H. R. Lawrence. When these 
gentlemen took charge they were sorely perplexed in the selection of locations 
for the several apparatus constituting the department. The lines adopted 
for locating companies were the lines of Fourth, Twelfth and Twentieth streets, 
but being without means to build, they were compelled to accept such properties 
from the old department as were best adapted to the apparatus under their 

William H. Johnson was appointed Chief-Engineer, William H. Dankel, 
William F. Mooney, J. H. Stephens, D. Humphreys and Edwin J. Cress, 
Assistant-Engineers of the New Department. John R. Cantlin, (now Chief 



-^Importers and Grocers,^ 
Cor. Walnut & Thirteenth Streets, 

Finest Teas and Coffees, 

Hare Old Wines, Fine Cigars, 

and strictly First-Class Groceries. 

Prompt and Regular Deliveries, City and Country. 


If you want a Beer that will excel 
any brew known in Europe, try our 

Experienced drinkers will corob- 
orate this. Bottled by 

^ F=R EI N/N/^ e: F=R ^, 

Juniper and FitzNA/ater Streets, 


JOHN SMITH, Asst. Engineer, 5tli District. 


Engineer), was appointed Secretary to the Board of Fire Commissioners; this 
gentleman was formerly a very prominent and active member of the Franklin 
Fire Company. When the Paid System went into operation, it consisted of 22 
Engine Companies, 5 Hook-and-Ladder Companies and 329 men. 

The first alarm of fire, after the Paid Department went into operation 
was received at 1.42 a. m., March 15th, 1871, from box 216. This upon 
investigation proved to be a false alarm. 

The first large fire after the forming of the Paid Department occurred at 
three o'clock on the afternoon of June 5th, 1871. An alarm of fire was sounded 
from the Twelfth District Station-House, at the corner of Tenth and Thompson 
streets, the cause of which was a fire in the planing-mill of Messrs. Stanley & 
Weber, on Marshall street, below Girard avenue. There is an alarm-box at 
the corner of Eighth street and Girard avenue, and also one in Randolph street, 
above Girard avenue, both within a square and a-half of the fire; but for some 
reason or other, the alarm was sent from the station-house over five squares 
distant. Several fire-engines quickly arrived upon the ground, and upon their 
arrival they found that the large four-story mill was a m-ass of blaze. The 
inhabitants of the neighborhood soon began removing their household effects, 
and sidewalks of the streets in the neighborhood of the fire were lined with 
bedding, furniture and all the various goods required in housekeeping. 

The building in which the fire originated was of brick, and owned by Mr. 
John W. Middleton; it was over 100 feet front on Marshall street, and four stories 
high, and was numbered 978, 980, 982 and 984. The part numbered 978, 980 
and 982 was occupied as follows; First floor, Augustus Fritz, cabinet maker; 
second floor front, Edward Burkhardt, turner of hydrant-stocks; second floor 
back, two rooms on third and one on fourth floor, Barrett Robinson, carpenter 
and builder; third floor, two rooms, Charles Cross, cabinet maker, and one room, 
William Miner, cabinet maker; fourth floor, John Leonard, machinist. 

The North end of the mill. No. 984, was occupied by Stanley & Weber 
as a planing, scroll-saw and turning establishment; this entire large building was 
totally destroyed, with all the machinery and nearly all the stock. Adjoining 
the mill on the North, was the residence of Mr. Weber, one of the proprietors, 
which was seriously damaged by fire and water. 

Assistant Fire-Marshall Randall stated that from his investigations he 
learned that the name of the engineer of the mill was Daniel Radcliflfe; that the 
furnaces were fed entirely with shavings and sawdust from the mill; that the 
engineer had left his post for about three minutes, and on returning had found 
the entire sawdust-pit on fire, notwithstanding that the space between the 
furnaces and the fuel heap was kept swept clean. The fire soon gained great 
headway. A strong wind sprang up, it extended towards the South and West, 
burning through the entire block to Seventh street, and to a considerable 
distance down Marshall street, besides scorching and seriously damaging many 
of the houses on the East side of Marshall street, opposite the mill. The fire, 
after exhausting itself on Marshall street, extended through the block to Seventh 
street. Here, immediately in the rear of the large mill, was a two-story brick 
building used by John R. Cobb as a box factory. Just above this factory was a 
a lot of pine lumber, owned by Mr. Cobb and other parties; this was totally 

d. s. wiltberger, 
Wholesale Druggist, 



* -^AHD-^— ♦ 


No. 288 North Second Street, 







345 and 347 M. Delaware Ayenue, 



Reference:— BanW of Northern Liberties. 


destroyed. The dwelling-house No. 979, occupied by Mr. Byrne; No. 961, 
occupied by Mrs. Brown; 959, Forrest English; 957, J. B. vSingleton, were all 
seriously damaged by fire and water. 

On the West side of Seventh street, the following houses were damaged 
more or less seriously: No. 950, occupied by Mr. William C. Vineyard, roof 
burned and furniture badly damaged by water. Mr. Vineyard had been missed 
since the Friday preceding the fire, and the family were in great distress over 
this double misfortune. No. 956, owned and occupied by William Nicholson, 
roof burned off and house seriously damaged; No. 958, owned by Mr. Bancroft, 
was occupied by Augustus Coran, roof and third-story rooms entirely burned 
<lDUt; No. 960, owned and occupied by Mrs. Rebecca M. Supplee, the house was 
burned out from the second-story up; No. 962, occupied by Mr. Kohler, hatter, 
burned from the second-story up; No. 964, owned and occupied by Mrs. Wright, 
burned down to the second floor; the furniture was removed. North of No 964 
was a court named Vermont Place, extending Westward from Seventh street; 
there were no houses damaged in this court. On the upper corner, No. 968, 
was owned and occupied by Christian Kastle, baker, the top story of the house 
was burned off, but the furniture saved; No. 970, owned by Mrs. E. Bryan, 
occupied by Theodore Stauffer, top stories burned off; No. 972, owned' and 
occupied by Henry Smith, roof burned off; No. 974, roof burned off. 

Such an extensive conflagration, happening in the middle of the afternoon 
in the midst of a crowded neighborhood, naturally' caused great excitement, 
and the streets in every direction were filled with an anxious crowd. Many of 
the female residents of the houses destroyed were in a painful state of 
excitement, and it was impossible to obtain statistics of loss and insurance. 

At a quarter after 9 o'clock, on Saturday evening, November 6th, 1871, 
an alarm of fire was sounded from the Gas Works, at Point Breeze, which was 
caused by the burning of the large phosphate works of Messrs. Wattson & 
Clarke, dealers in fertilizers, which was situated on the banks of the Schuylkill, 
adjoining the gas works on the North. The lot upon which the works were 
erected is about 25 acres in extent, and the buildings which were destroyed 
were mostly of wood, consisting of a large phosphate house, two stories high, in 
the shape of an ell, fronting on the river; a furnace house, for roasting copper 
pyrites, and a smaller building in the rear of the last mentioned, where the 
fumes of the pyrites were to be manufactured into sulphuric acid. In this building 
was a very large and extensive acid chamber of le^d which was entirely 
destroyed. In the phosphate building was an engine, boiler and a quantity of 
valuable machinery, which was so badly damaged as to be rendered useless. 
The cause of the fire was unknown. It originated in the phosphate building, 
and owing to the high breeze that was blowing at that time, it spread very 
rapidly and communicated to the other buildings, each of which stood detached 
from any other. The three structures were totally destroyed, with about 1,500 
tons of manufactured stock, 600 or 700 car-boys of sulphuric acid, a large 
quantity of raw material, and all the machinery. 

Besides the buildings burned, there was upon the property a number of 
tenement houses, occupied by the employees of the firm, stables, oSices, etc., 
and a small house containing a quantity of nitrate of potash or saltpetre ; these 
escaped any damage. 


CASH CAPITAL, $250,000. ' m 

** LOSSES PAID, $16,082,651 

llnion Insurance Co. . 

of Philadelphia. 
Fire i Insurance t Exclusively. 

CHAS. S. HOLLINSHEAD, President. E. R. DANNELS, Secretary. 


Charles S. Hollinshead, 
George W. Kreamer, 
Morris Ebert, 
Solomon Smucker, 
Atwood Smith, 
Carroll Neicle, 
George Rudolph, 
Charles Tete, 
Colson Hieskell, 
Samuel Lee, 
Benjamin F. Hart, 
Charles D. Clark, 
William M. Whitaker. 


The whole number of fires during the year ending December 31st, 1871, 
amounted to 523, showing a decrease of 79 fires, and a diminished loss to property 
of §807,134 over the year 1870. 

A few minutes after nine o'clock on the evening of March 4th, 1872, a 
fire was discovered in the extensive eight-story granite building of Dr. Jayne, on 
Chestnut below Third, and the alarm being given the firemen were promptly on 
the ground. At the time of the discovery there were but two persons in the 
building — George W. Gaw, watchman for the firm of Jayne & Co., and the 
watchman for Mr. Joseph R. Carpenter, one of the occupants. The first named 
had gone through a portion of the building at half-past eight o'clock, and did 
not discover any indications of the burning, and it was not until a few minutes 
after nine that he discovered the flames. The watchman for Mr. Carpenter was 
on the fourth floor, and was in the act of lying down, being partially undressed. 
He was startled by seeing a volume of smoke coming through the hatchway, 
and made his way as quickly as possible to the first floor. According to his 
statement, and that of the watchman Gaw, the fire originated on the third floor, 
which, as well as the fourth, was in the occupancy of Mr. Joseph R. Carpenter, 
manufacturer of revenue stamps. It began in the rear portion of the building, 
the Carter street front, and extended upwards to the roof, passing in its way 
through Mr. Carpenter's entire establishment, on the third and fourth floors, 
and fifth story, occupied in part by Martin Newman, engraver, and the printing 
and packing rooms of Messrs. Eben C. Jayne & John K. Walker, manufacturers 
of Dr. Jayne's family medicines. 

Mr, Carpenter had about twenty presses in his rooms, and employed a 
large number of operatives, male and female; besides he had a stock of bank 
note paper on hand, and other material. In the printing room of Eben C. Jayne 
& Co. were eight presses, all of which were destroyed. On the second floor, 
the firm of Messrs. Wernwag & Bro., dry goods merchants, were the chief 
occupants. They had a large stock on hand. On the first floor, fronting on 
Chestnut street, the drug store of the successors of Dr. Jayne, which had been 
fitted up by the Doctor in the most costlj' and elaborate manner, was filled with 
drugs and choice perfumery. It contained a number of elegant glass cases 
resting on marble counters, and around the walls shelving enclosed with glass 
doors. As the fire spread towards the front of the building, the water ran down 
the hatchway and staircase and made its way to the drug store. The coverings 
of the Insurance Patrol were used upon the cases and upon such of the stock as 
could be reached, in the belief that that portion of the store would be saved. 
Adjoining the drug store was a tea warehouse of Ellwood Shannon, which was 
stored with tea and coff"ee, the stock being very large. The fire also reached 
this store, and nothing but the untiring efforts of the firemen prevented it from 
being a total loss, as it was the damage by fire was very slight. 

The Jayne building has a front of about forty feet, and extends to Carter 
street, a distance of over 200 feet. It was eight stories in height, and both 
fronts were heavy blocks of granite, the side walls being of brick and very 
substantial. It was built by the late Solomon K. Hoxie at a cost of over half a 
million of dollars, and had been a prominent object and one of the first edifices 
seen on the approach to the city. In its construction. Dr. Jayne took especial 

C. L. HAGY, Chairman. J. H. BLYE, Sec'y and Treas. 


Soutliern Waste Works, 

(l_l MITED) 


North-west Corner Sixteentli and Carpenter Streets, 





Manufacturer and Dealer in 



"Extra" Quality Belting, Crown Brewers' Hose, Firehose, Etc. 



pains to guard against fire, and provide means for its extinguishment. Provision 
was made for flooding the floors, but in the confusion that ensued on the evening 
of the fire it was not done. A steam engine was placed in the cellar, and the 
building was supplied with an abundance of hose. None of it was made use 
of. Considering the means employed to make the structure in part fire-proof, 
the flames spread very rapidly, and by twelve o'clock the building was destroyed 
to the third floor, and the fire looked as if it would sweep through the whole of 
it. The firemen labored under much disadvantage by reason of the coldness of 
the weather, which froze the water as it fell upon their equipments, completely 
coating them with ice. The great height of the building was another obstacle 
in the way of reaching the fire. At the time the structure was erected there 
was much discussion as to the power of the hand-engines of that period to throw 
water to the tower, and several trials took place to settle the mooted point. In 
the strong wind that was blowing that night hand-engines would not have been 
of much use, if any. The flames were only reached by taking hose up the 
stairways and to the roofs of the adjoining stores. At half-past twelve o'clock 
the firemen seemed to have obtained complete masterv of the fire. The flames 
on Chestnut street, which had burned down to the sixth story, had been so far 
extinguished that they were only seen issuing from one of the circular windows 
in the upper story; but a half hour later they burst forth with increased fury, 
spreading to the cupola, 130 feet above the pavement, enveloping it, and 
brilliantly illuminating Chestnut street for many squares. At twenty minutes 
past one the cupola fell, momentarily increasing the brilliancy of the spectacle. 
News that Dr. Jayne's building was on fire soon spread, the citizens flocked 
from all parts of the city, and universal regret was expressed at the loss of such 
an establishment. When the roof fell in, the sparks and flames shot up in the 
air to a great height, illuminating the city for a considerable distance. 

At about half-past one o'clock on Saturday afternoon, November 30th, 
1872, a fire broke out in the front part of the second story of the three-story 
brick warehouse, No. 132 Dock street, occupied by Messrs. C. M. Stratton & Co., 
manufacturers of and dealers in lubricating and machine oils. The firemen 
were promptly on the spot and prevented the flames from spreading beyond the 
building in which they originated. The stock of the Messrs. Stratton, which 
consisted of lard and whale oil, tallow, etc., was about three-quarters destroyed. 
The building was owned by the Flanagan estate, and was a three-story brick 
with Mansard roof. It was burned out entirely above the second story. The 
establishment of Messrs. M. R. George & Co,, No. 134 Dock street, adjoining 
the building burned, was slightly damaged by fire. Just before the fire was 
extinguished, a long ladder on which several firemen were standing broke in the 
middle, and the men were thrown to the ground. Assistant Engineer David 
Humphries struck on his head, injuring him so seriously that he died the follow- 
ing morning at his home, on Columbia avenue, where he had been carried. 
James Patterson, foreman of Engine No. i, and Alfred Gore, hoseman of No. 22, 
were also badly hurt. 

During the year 1872, the epizootic traversed the entire North American 
Continent, and Philadelphia did not escape its ravages. Scarcely a horse in the 
entire city passed through the ordeal unscathed, and the animals connected 



Br<?<?<;f? ljDadi9(^ 5t?ot dups. I^ifl^s, pistols. 

Sl^ootir^i^ (iall(^ry Xar(^(^t5 apd j^mmui)itioi). 






No. 56 North Front Street, 




with the department came in for their share of the suffering, but owing to the 
great care exercised by those having them in charge, but three died from the 
effects of the scourge. For the greater part of a month, the men dragged the 
apparatus by hand to fires, and labored uncomplainingl)' under many serious 

. During the year, James C. Baxter was appointed an assistant engineer in 
place of Mr. D. Humphries, who was killed in the performance of his duties, as 
cited above. Messrs. Hamilton Disston and James R. Edmiston were appointed 
members of the Board of Fire Commissioners, in place of Messrs. Butler and 
Eawrence. Mr. W. T. Galbraith was appointed messenger to the Board. Two 
new engines were added to the force of the department, making twenty-four 
engines in all. There were also three hand engines in the outside. 4j|Stricts at 
this time. 

On Saturday afternoon, July 5th, 1873, a fire broke out in Johns & 
Berger's manufactory of fertilizers, at the mouth of Ma3'landville creek, near 
the Junction and West Chester Railroafi bridges. There were three large 
buildings, two of frame and one of stone, the latter being three stories high. 
About ;^2o,ooo worth of material was stored in the buildings. The fire spread 
so rapidly that the firemen who were on Truck 5's ladders were obliged to 
leave their hose and jump into Maylandville creek to save their lives. The total 
loss of buildings, machinery and stock was estimated at $40,000, upon which 
there was an insurance of $20,000. The fire originated from some sparks from 
a locomotive. 

Mr. Joseph S. Robinson was appointed a member of the Board of Fire 
Commissioners in place of George W. Plumly, resigned. Three new engines 
were added to the force of the department during the j^ear 1873 — making in all 
twenty-seven steam-engines. 

At half-past seven o'clock on the evening of January 4th, 1874, an alarm 
of fire was sounded from the Insurance Patrol House, on Arch street, below 
Second, caused by the burning of the "black house" of McKean, Newhall & 
Borie's sugar refinery, on Lagrange place. The refinery consisted of two large 
buildings, one on each side of Lagrange place, the two being connected by iron 
bridges over the street; the fire occurred in the seven-story brick building on 
the North side, running through to Ledger place. It originated in the fifth 
story, from what cause is unknown. The watchman states that at six o'clock 
he made his round of the building, and everything was right, but the police and 
members of the Insurance Patrol, who were on duty in the neighborhood, state 
that they smelled the fire for an hour before it was discovered, which was 
finally done by one of the members of the Patrol, who was searching for it. The 
alarm was immediately given, and the firemen were promptly on hand. The 
flames burned very stubbornly, notwithstanding the advantage the firemen 
enjoyed by means of the iron bridges and the high roof on the opposite side 
of the narrow street from which their streams were poured directly into the 
windows, it was nearly three hours before the fire was subdued, and it had then 
burned out the three upper stories entirely, and on the North side of the 
building had reached down to the first floor. The bUrned building contained 
nothing but bone-black and charcoal, used in the process of refining, and the 



FU01TURE. CUKT/lIbl^., 


FroD! our Own or Arcljitecl's Designs. 




• 9 



No. . 42 . North . Kikth . Street, 



stock was not very valuable, the stock of sugar and the valuable machinery all 
being contained in the building on the South side of Lagrange place which was 
not injured. As soon as the fire was discovered the engines of the establish- 
ment were started, and the force-pumps were of much service in assisting the 

During the fire a serious accident occurred to Mr. William H. Johnson, 
Chief Engineer of the Fire Department. Mr. Johnson was on the roof of a 
two-story back building of one of the stores on Third street, directing the 
operations of a couple of firemen, who had a line of hose on a ladder which 
stood on the tin roof, and rested against the walls of the sugar-house. The 
ladder on which the men were began to slip, when Mr. Johnson attempted to 
stop it, but it slipped back upon him, catching his right leg beneath the lower 
round, and giving him a compound fracture of both bones just above the ankle. 
He was taken through the window into the third-story of Joseph T. Dell's 
wholesale clothing house, No. 43 North Third street, where a physician was 
summoned and found his injuries to be of a very serious character. A temporary 
bandage was placed on his leg, and he was taken to his home, No 1237 Button- 
wood street, on a mattress in a wagon, and attended by the physician. He 
suffered very great pain, and was removed down the narrow stairway with much 
difiiculty. After being confined to his home for several weeks he entirely 
recovered, and reported for active duty. The firemen who were on the ladder 
escaped injury. 

On the morning of January 29th, 1874, between two and three o'clock, 
the large building on Market street, below Thirteenth, formerly known as 
"National Hall," but more recently as the "New Olympic Theatre," was 
discovered to be on fire, and was soon a total ruin. The building had for many 
years been widely known as the largest public hall in the city, and it was 
extensively used for political conventions, mass meetings and other gatherings 
requiring large space. It was owned by the Prenzell estate and the lower story 
was used for business purposes, No. 1224 by S. F. Prenzell, commission and 
forwarding merchant. He had in his store a considerable stock of dressed hogs, 
grains, salt and other produce, all of of which was destroyed. No. 1226, a small 
store adjoining the entrance to the theatre, upstairs, was occupied by James 
Dickson, dealer in stoves. On account of there having been a large quantity 
of salt stored in the rear of his store, the fire did not do much damage. The 
goods were somewhat injured by water. No. 1228 was occupied by H. B. 
Prenzell, commission merchant, who had on hand a considerable stock of oat 
and corn-meal. All these stores were in the theatre building. Adjoining on 
the West, was a three-story store, the first floor of which was occupied by J. 
Moyer & Co., liquor dealers. This building was a little damaged. The cellar was 
filled with water, and there was considerable loss to the stock therefrom. The 
second story was occupied b}^ W. D. Saville & Co. , sign painters, whose stock 
was considerably damaged. The third-story was occupied by Benjamin Pippitt, 
manufacturer of children's shoes. No. 1232 was occupied by Ely & Williams, 
dealers in iron and steel; the back portion of this building was badly damaged 
by being crushed by the falling wall of the theatre. A stable in the rear of this 
building, fronting on L,eiper street, was also destroyed by the falling wall. The 


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carpenter shop of Robert McKee, on Leiper street, back of the theatre, was also 
burned and crushed by falhng walls. 

National Hall was altered into a theatre, during the summer of 1873, by 
Messrs. Thomas H. Johnson & Co., at an expense of about ^^ 2 1,000; the stage 
was extended, making it the largest in the city, with the exception of the 
Academy of Music; the hall was remodelled — an amphitheatrical gallery being 
erected around the room, and seats arranged in an arc of a circle and upholstered 
in crimson; a handsome proscenium, with twelve private boxes erected, and a 
large green-room, dressing-rooms, a paint-room, a music-room, etc., provided; 
the stage was fitted with ample and improved machinery, and a full stock of 
scenery and properties; there was also a complete wardrobe for variety business. 
In addition to this, many of the performers were "star" artists, who had large 
and valuable wardrobes in their dressing-rooms, all of which were totally 
destroyed. A troupe of highly-trained dogs, owned by Mr. Harry Mack, were 
also burned. All the instruments belonging to the musicians in the orchestra 
and all the manuscript music were also totally destroyed, in fact, the theatre, 
with all its appointments, was an entire loss. Many of the actors and actresses, 
who lost their all, were on the ground during the fire, deeply grieving over 
their misfortune. 

There was considerable complaint about the delay in transmitting the 
alarm of fire. The smell of smoke was clearly discernible in the neighborhood 
for some time before the fire was discovered by a policeman. He immediately 
ran to the freight depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad, where alarm-box No. 78 
was located. The box was pulled by the night watchman, but would not work, 
and the operator at the Central Station received only a confused clicking at his 
instrument. Believing there was a fire, he telegraphed an inquir}^ to the station 
houses at Fifteenth and Filbert and Fifteenth and I,ocust streets, as to where 
the fire was, but before he received a reply. Box 78 began i:o register, and the 
alarm was immediately sent out. The operator said that an interval of at least 
twelve minutes elapsed from the time the instrument began to work indistinctly 
before he could distinguish where the alarm was from. 

Much anxiety was felt for the safety of St. John's Roman Catholic Church 
and the parochial building on lyciper street. The priests were obliged to leave 
their residence and take refuge in the house of Mr. Simon Gartland, near by. 
After the fire had burned fiercely for some time, and the church was in imminent 
danger of destruction, the church-bell was rung, drawing a great number of 
persons to the scene, but by the active efforts of the firemen it was saved from 
damage. The roof of the priests' residence was sHghtly burned, but the loss 
was trifling; the back wall of the theatre, however, stood so much out of plumb 
that the clergymen were afraid to return to their residence, lest the wall should 
fall across the narrow street and crush their building. 

About half-past four o'clock in the morning, after the fire had been in 
progress about two hours, the West wall of the building fell with a tremendous 
crash, and crushed the back portion of the store of Messrs. Ely & Williams, No. 
1232 Market street. When this wall fell Hugh McClintock, Ehvood Herricks, 
James P. Love and Daniel O'Neil were standing on the roof of the building 
adjoining. They were buried beneath the ruins. McClintock, who was foreman 




High-Class Brass Goods, Water Closets, Lava- 
tories and General Plumbers' Supplies. 






^ m^wjw * 




of engine No. 4, was badly bruised. Herricks was twenty-five years old, lived 
at No. 2 1 31 Ellsworth street, and was a member of engine company No. 4. His 
collar bone was fractured. James P. Love was twenty-seven years old; he 
belonged to engine No. 4, and lived at No. 1709 Moravian street; he was cut in 
the head, and had his hip injured. Daniel O'Neil also belonged to engine No. 
4; he was injured internally. 

The saddest feature of the whole calamity was the death of two firemen, 
who were killed by the falling of the wall mentioned. George McDevitt, thirty 
years old, a member of engine No 3, was extricated from the ruins while still 
alive, and removed to his home, at Second and Queen streets, where he died 
about six o'clock the same evening. Charles O'Neil a member of engine No. 
4, was not taken from the ruins until eight o'clock on the following morning, 
and he was dead when found. He resided at No. 1652 Sansom street, and had 
been recently married. 

About half-past four o'clock, Assistant Engineer Stevens had the 80-foot 
ladder of Mrs. Scott-Uda, brought from the City Arsenal, Broad and Race streets, 
and about five o'clock it was erected in front of the burning building. Two 
streams of water were thrown from it into the building, and it proved to be of 
considerable use to the firemen. At the time when the ladder was brought into 
use, however, the critical moment of the fire had passed, and all hope of saving 
the building had been given up. 

Messrs. William Calhoun and Charles A. McManus were appointed 
members of the Board of Fire Commissioners in place of Messrs. McCully 
and Edmiston. Joseph T. Hammond was appointed assistant engineer in place 
of William H. Dankel. 

Just befote eleven o'clock on the morning of October 31st, 1875, a fire 
broke out in the drying house of Carleton Mills, Twenty-third and Hamilton 
streets, which resulted in the almost total destruction of the immense establish- 
ment. The Carleton Mills were formerly owned and operated by J. P. Bruner 
& Co., and were popularly known as ' 'Bruner's Mills." They had been partly 
destroyed by fire on two previous occasions. They were owned by David N. 
Lord, of New York, and were operated by Philip C. Garrett & Co., manufacturers 
of cotton, woolen and worsted fabrics. They extended on the North side of 
Hamilton street, from Twenty-third to Twenty-fourth streets and through 
Southwardly to Linn street, giving a frontage on Twenty-third street of about 
seventy-five feet. There was a large court-yard in the centre of the buildings, 
and in the Southwest corner of the court was a boiler-house, with the drying 
house over the boilers. 

• The buildings consisted of an old stone mill, five stories high, on the 
corner of Twenty-third and Hamilton streets, and brick buildings, extending 
from the stone mill to Twenty-fourth street on Hamilton. These buildings 
were five stories high and were filled with valuable machinery and stock, both 
raw material and manufactured. The buildings on Linn street were partly two 
stories and partly five stories high, and did not extend all the way through to 
Twenty-fourth street, but left an offset at the Southwest corner of the block, 
where there was a dwelling-house and a court, named Spring Mill court, in 
which were five three-story brick dwellings. These were also connected with 


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•'^ , ""^V:-'*.^fe;'<2K^ ■ 



Corner Richmond and York Streets, 

WILLIAM G, McDADE, Asst. Engineer, 6th District. 


the mill and were used for the storage of extra machiney. They were seriously 
damaged by fire and water. 

The fire started in the drying-house, and was soon discovered by the 
watchman. It being Sunday, steam in the boilers was so low, he could not blow 
the alarm whistle, and before the alarm could be given the fire had gained a 
firm foothold and was raging violently. The first alarm was struck at one 
minute before eleven o'clock, and the firemen promptly responded. Soon after 
the Chief Engineer reached the ground he ordered a second alarm to be rung at 
II. 10, and the fire still gained headway, the third alarm was rung at 11.28. 
The high wind swept the flames across the court-yard and through the buildings, 
and the efforts of the firemen were very much hindered by the wind, which, 
while it fanned the flames, converted the streams of water to spray, which took 
but little effect on the fire. In less than an hour after the fire-alarm was struck, 
the whole large establishment were in ruins, with the exception of the old stone 
building, at the corner of Twenty-third and Hamilton streets, and a portion of 
the brick front on Twenty-third street, below Hamilton. The buidings burned 
were a total loss; the walls fell in places, and those left standing were torn down, 
the machinery and stock in them were totally destroyed. There were about 700 
looms in the burned buildings, and about 900 hands were thrown out of work; 
the mills had been running on full time for some time, and there was a heavy 
stock of goods on hand, a shipment of ^30,000 worth having taken place the day 
previous to the fire. 

In addition to the loss on the Carleton Mills, the Star Braid Mill of S. B. 
& M. Flusher, on Hamilton street, opposite, was also badly scorched and the 
stock and machinery damaged by water to the extent of several thousand 
dollars. The carpet-weaving mill of John Dearie, a four-story stone structure, 
extending from Linn to Callowhill street, between Twenty-third and Twenty- 
fourth, also took fire and was badly burned in the upper stories and was deluged 
with water. A row of brick dwellings on Hamilton street, opposite the 
Carleton Mills, was badly scorched, the paint being burned off the doors and 
shutters, and the occupants alarmed so badly that they removed their goods to 
to the streets by the rear outlets. One of these houses. No. 2337 Hamilton 
street, owned by R. A. Jamison, had the doors stnd shutters all burned off, but 
was not otherwise injured. At one o'clock the roof of Wood's Cotton Mill, at 
Twenty-second and Hamilton streets, took fire from the flying cinders, but it 
was soon put out. A lumber yard on Twenty-second street also took fire, but 
no damage was done. 

The firemen were on duty all day until after dark, keeping the surrounding 
property from catching fire from the flying sparks and extinguishing it in the 
debris, which was constantly bursting out as the wind blew across the ruins. 

During the year 1875, Messrs. Lyndall and Disston, resigned from the 
Board of Fire Commissioners, and Messrs. Alex. McCuen and Thomas H. Spence 
were appointed to fill the vacancies. Mr. Thomas Nicholson was appointed an 
assistant engineer in place of Edwin T. Cress. 

On Saturday morning, March 4th, 1876, a few minutes after three o'clock, 
a fire occurred at the extensive wholesale cloth and dry goods house of Wood, 
Marsh & Co., Nos. 309 and 311 Market street. The establishment was a 




plumbers' Supplies, 

44 N. Fifth Street, 




Flour^ ^rain and Mitt Fsed^ 

flipped Oats a Specialty. 
^tutff ^traw and Ex^ef^ioft 

341 and 343 N. FRONT STREET, 

340 and 342 N. WATER STREET, 

F=» hH I L- >^ CD EI l_ F= hH I >X . 



complete wreck, the buildings, which were five-story brick ones, being entirel)' 
burned ]out from cellar to roof, the front walls on Market street being the only 
ones left standing. 

Owing to the combustible nature of the large stock of goods, the flames 
si)read with great rapidity, and by the time the firemen responded to the last of 
the three alarms, the buildings mentioned were completely enveloped in flames, 
The firemen who were first on the ground found great difficulty in securing 
eligible positions to combat the flames, the fire having burst out in the rear 
portion of No. 309, through the sky-lights, and ran with great rapidity through 
each story of the building. At last an entrance was effected into Storch's 
restaurant. No. 14 North Third street, and lines of were raised to the roof. 
The flames, however, were communicated to the dry goods establishment of 
Garrettson, Blackmore & Co., No. 307 Market, also a five-story brick building, 
with a sky-light addition two stories in height, in the rear. This building was 
considerably damaged, and the rear portion was completely enveloped in smoke 
making it very dangerous for the firemen. The flames then spread to No. 313 
Market street, occupied by Behrens Brothers & Dobson, dealers in fancy 
embroideries, and some damage was done by fire in the rear portion. No. 305 
Market street, the book and stationery establishment of Behm & Gerhart, a 
third-story building, suff'ered some from the fire as well as that of S. A. Cassady 
dealer in silks and goods, No. 303 Market street. Between four and five 
o'clock, the Western wall of No. 311 fell into the rear of No. 313, and a portion 
of the wall dividing the two buildings occupied by Wood, Marsh & Co., also 
fell, and several firemen got wedged in between the debris, and made narrow 
escapes from death or serious injury. 

Hugh McClintock, Assistant Engineer of the First Fire District, fell from 
the building in the rear of 307 Market street, about the time the walls fell in, a 
distance of nearly forty feet, and was seriously injured. As soon as he could be 
extricated, he was attended by Drs. Hooper and McFantlen, who found that he 
had four ribs broken, and he also sustained internal injuries. Mr. George W. 
Gray, a member of Truck D, fell about the same time Mr. McClintock did and 
near the same place and was severely although not dangerously injured, his fall 
being broken by a tin spout. 

About 7.42 o'clock on the morning of July 26th, 1876, the shoddy mill of 
William Johnston, 1142 St. John street, was. entirely destroyed by fire, and two 
women lost their lives and two other employees were seriously injured. The 
mill was a part of what was formerly known as the Globe Mills; the building 
was the property of James Nolen, but was leased to Mr. Johnston, who used it 
for the manufacture of shoddy. It had a front of seventy-six feet on St. John 
street, and was thirty feet deep; there was also a one-story back building 
seventy feet long and fifteen feet wide, extending westwardly nearly to Canal 
street, and the small building in which the engine was placed. On the first 
floor were two garnet machines for tearing the rags to pieces; the second floor 
was used as a picker room; the third floor was used for assorting rags and for 
storage purposes, and the fourth for storage. In this fourth story were five girls 
and women; in the third there was one woman, and one on the first floor with 
the garnet machines. John Brooks was attending the picker machine. John M. 
Turner, foreman, was on the first floor. 


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The fire broke out in the picker machinery, and the alarm was immedi- 
ately given. Brooks threw three or four pailsful of water on the fire, and then 
Turner appeared on the scene and threw two pailsful more. It was evident to 
him, however J that it could not be extinguished, and he ran up-stairs to warn 
the women to save themselves; the floors were covered with oil and the rags 
were full; the flames were formed by the brisk wind from the westward, which 
drove the fire through the building. When Tnrner reached the fourth story 
none of the employees seemed to know of the fire, and his warning was received 
with some incredulity. He told them to get their clothes and get out as soon 
as possible and then ran out to see what else could be done. A further sight of 
the fire convinced him that no time was to be lost and he ran back; the women 
in the meantime, had scattered, some running down to the second story, and 
frightened by the flames, ran back again. One of them, Mattie Hoover, about 
fourteen years old, was running back when Turner assisted her downstairs and 
saved her. Maria Hoover, about eighteen years old, ran to the window of the 
third story and attempted to let herself down on the hoisting rope which hung 
on the West side of the building; the flames were so fierce about her that she 
was forced to loose her hold and fell from the height of the second story, 
striking upon the cellar door and rebounded upon the brick pavement. Cornelia 
Peterson and Maggie Sheridan got out of the second-story window upon the 
roof of the one-story structure and escaped without injury. Mrs. Ellen Heaver 
and Annie Patterson ran back up-stairs, and were seen occasionally running to 
the windows and back towards the stairs. Mrs. Heaver was in the building the 
year previous when it was burned, and escaped by jumping out of the north 
window upon the roof of the second story structure connected with the Globe 
Mills. This avenue of escape was closed, as in repairing the mill these North 
windows were built up. Nothing remained, however, but for them to jump from 
the windows into St. John street. The progress of the flames had been so rapid 
that there was no retreat by the stairways nor by the West windows where a 
jump upon the roof of the one-story structure would have been less dangerous. 
Some bales of rags had been put on the pavement, while some the spectators 
urged them to jump, others, in the excitement had rolled them away, and when 
they leaped one after the other from the third-story windows, and shot down 
through the fire and smoke, there was nothing to break their fall, and they 
*tuck with a heavy thud upon the brick pavement, while everybody knew that 
death could only result. Mrs. Heaver jumped first. All this was done in less 
time than it can be told, and before the arrival of the firemen, Mrs. Heaver 
was placed in a furniture car and died almost immediately; her body was taken 
to her residence, 1305 Charlotte street. She was about thirty-five years of age 
and the mother of eight children, the eldest of whom was about fourteen years 
old. Annie Patterson was removed to St. Mary's Hospital, where she died in 
about an hour after her arrival. She was about thirty-three years old, and 
unmarried, and resided at the corner of Twentj'^-third and Bainbridge streets. 
John Brooks, the picker man, was severely burned about the face and 
hands, and had his hair burned off. No others were injured. There were 
rumors of other employees being burned to death, but search proved that such 
was not the case. 





270 South Ty/antieth Street, 

and 1902 Sansom Street, 



Importers and Jobbers of 


and Lanaps, 

305 and 307 N. SECOND STREET, 



The flames were so intense that they set on fire a row of three-story 
brick buildings on the East side of St, John street; the doors and window shutters 
were closed, but they were burned nearly through and the roofs and cornices 
were badly damaged. The house adjoining the mill on the South was occupied 
as a grocery by David Ichli, the roof and attic were damaged by fire. Several 
two-story frame buildings, in the alley at the South of the mill were also 

There was no change in the officers of the department during the year 
of 1876. 

At half-past twelve o'clock on Saturday night, February 25th, 1877, a 
fire broke out in Fox's American Theatre, on Chestnut street above Tenth, 
which resulted in the total destruction of the theatre, and serious damage to 
the Mercantile Library, and severe loss to several of the surrounding properties 
besides causing serious personal injuries to Fire Marshal Thompson and two 
members of the Insurance Patrol. The origin of the fire is not positively 
determined; the performance had been over about an hour and the house was 
closed for the night; the night watchman, Charles Charlton, stated that he had 
just made his round of the building and set his detector clock at half-past 
twelve o'clock and had set down, when he saw the fire burst out of the property 
room on the East or "prompt" side of the stage, on a level with the flies. He 
made an effort to put the fire out by turning on the water from the fire-plugs on 
the stage, and also tried to use a patent fire-extinguisher, but it spread so 
rapidly that he soon saw that he could do nothing with it, and he gave the 
alarm at 12.37 o'clock a. m. The firemen were promptly on the ground, but 
before the first engine got in service, so rapid was the spread of the fire, that 
the whole interior of the theatre was a mass of flames, which poured out of the 
back windows into the private wagon-way. South of the Mercantile Library 
building, and soon set fire to the roof of the Library. 

In the meantime a second and third alarm were sounded, and all the fire 
apparatus of the city, except that in the distant suburbs, was summoned to the 
scene, the water was poured into the burning theatre from every direction, but 
with scarcely any perceptible eff"ecc, and in about a half an hour after the first 
alarm was given, the roof fell in. The wind was blowing quite briskly from the 
West, and a perfect shower of blazing embers was carried over the adjoining 
buildings and into the surrounding streets. At the corner of Tenth street stood 
the magnificent fire-proof building of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of 
New York; this structure towered high above its surroundings, and presented 
to the westward a heavy blank wall of brick without openings. Against this 
wall sparks and brands were thrown and fell in a mass of live coals upon the 
roof of the adjoining building, ion Chestnut street, occupied by W. D. Rogers 
as a carriage repository; the solder of the tin roof covering was soon melted and 
the roof took fire, the flames burning down to the floor below, filled with 
combustible stock, and weakening the joists so much that the floor gave way 
and carried down with it the two floors below, loaded with finished and unfinished 
carriages, making a very heavy weight. In the meantime, several of the 
Insurance Patrol were busy on the ground running out the handsome finished 
carriages which stood in the show room. Fire Marshal Thompson and two or 

Tde liisuraiii!!! compai oi lie Slate ol Penaa. 

Losses Paid, over $15,000,000.00. 


George G. Crowell, Benjamin S. Janney, Jr., James C. Brooks, 

Thomas B. Wattson, William Massey, Charles Piatt, Jr., 

George H. Colket, Edward H. Rowley, John B. Morgan, 

Edward P. Borden, lyincoln Godfrey, Charles S. Lewis, 

Caleb J. Milne. 

A. B. EAULE, Secretary. GEOHQE a._CKOWELL, President. 

Office: Nos. 136, 138 South Fourth Street, 


The Oldest American Stock Fire Insurance Co. 

with one exception. 


three of the employees of Mr. Rogers were in the store, when suddenly the 
floors in the centre came down with a crash. Fred. Newman, a member of the 
Insurance Patrol, Mr. George H. Bonnafon, secretary of the Patrol, and Fire 
Marshal James Thompson, were caught in the ruins. 

Messrs. Thompson and Bonnafon succeeded in extricating themselves 
almost immediately. Marshal Thompson had received a frightful-looking cut 
from a splinter or broken beam. It extended from the top of the forehead down 
through his eyebrow, along the side of his nose and through the lip, laying the 
face open to the bone. Mr. Bonnafon had his stiff leather fire-hat driven down 
over his heads and was injured in the spine. These two were carried to Hem- 
bold' s drug store under the Continental Hotel. Here they were furnished 
with cots and blankets and were attended by a physician and the clerks of 
the drug store, who did everything in their power to relieve their sufferings. 
Beef tea and brandy was also sent to the store to Newman, who was imprisoned 
in the ruins, and several cases of minor injuries to firemen and others were 
attended to during the night; toward daylight the injured men were able to be 
removed to their homes; they afterwards recovered but bear scars that testify to 
their narrow escape from death. When the floor above fell, Newman was 
caught by the falling debris and was thrown upon his back. Three beams rested 
on his breast but they became so wedged in falling that they lay comparatively 
lightly upon him, and served to support a large pile of rubbish which came down 
with the floor. Newman's feet became entangled in a carriage-wheel as he fell, 
and this served to make more difficult the task of releasing him. Jack-screws 
were procured, and with these the firemen worked unceasingly' to release him; 
the task was one fraught with great danger, and the work was necessarily tedious. 
With the screws first one beam and then another was gently raised, so that the 
wedged timber, which was Newman's only protection, should constantly occupy 
the same relative positions as at first. Through this trying ordeal, which lasted 
nearly eight hours, Newman suffered intensely; the heavy weight resting upon 
his chest made it extremely diflicult for him to breathe, and the suffocating 
smoke greatly aggravated this difliculty. His cramped position caused the 
blood to circulate sluggishly, and the whole body, especially the lower limbs, 
became numb and almost paralyzed. He bore up bravely, however, and his 
natural fortitude was greatly increased by the assurance of his comrades that he 
would soon be released. Early in the morning he was given beef tea and brandy 
and up to within an hour of his release he constantly improved; then he suddenly 
became sick, and when extricated was entirely unconscious. 

W^ithin half an hour after the outbreak of the fire the roof at the back 
end of the Mercantile Library building had caught from the flames which poured 
from the dressing-room window of the theatre; the fire ran along under the tin 
roof until the South side of the roof, for almost the entire length of the building, 
had been wet and covered with falling plaster and rubbish from the ceiling. 
There were about 130,000 books in the library, nearly half of which were thus 
damaged. Among them were those in the gallery where many of the most 
valuable works were kept, such as fine illustrated works, old books and books 
out of print, etc. Prominent among them was a very fine copy of Audubon's 
"Birds of America," which cost 3900. 

BENJ. F. TELLER § B1^0. 

Law. Conveyancing, Collections, 

Real Estate, Mortgages, Notaries Public, 




Wills receipted for and safely kept free of charge. 
Money securely invested in Mortgages and Ground Rents, 
Act as Executors, Administrators, Trustees and Guardians. 
Negotiate Loans on Ground Rents, Mortgages and Mortgage Collateral. 
Buy and Sell Real Estate, take general charge and management f»f Property. 
Special attention given to the Execution of Wills and Administering to Estates. 
Loans secured on First and Second Mortgage, payable at the expiration of a fixed 
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50© So\a.t]::L Xentli. Street, 

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Fox's Theatre in which the fire commenced was totally burned out. It 
war erected on the site of the old Academy of Fine Arts by Robert Fox in 1870, 
and is said to have cost including ground about ^250,000; it was first opened to 
the public on Saturday, December 17th, 1870. It was 100 feet front by 190 feet 
deep, and had a seating capacity of 3,000, being the largest theatre at this time 
in the city. It would hold 5 ,000 persons in case of a crowd ; there was a parquet, 
parquet circle and three tiers of galleries above, the top gallery being large 
enough to accommodate 2,000 to 2,500 persons; thebuilding was heated by steam 
from a boiler under the stage, and was handsomely fitted up throughout. In 
addition to the loss to the proprietor, the members of the company lost all their 
stage wardrobes, and from fifty to sixty persons were thrown out of employment. 
Among the few things saved was a fine oil painting, which hung in the saloon 
attached to the theatre, and known as the "English Larder ; " this work of art 
was owned by Mr. Fox, who estimated it to be worth $10,000 and was about 300 

years old. 

Opinions as to the origin of the fire differ among those connected with the 
establishment, some thinking that the flames originated in the engine-room, and 
others are of the opinion that they started in the flies. 

Several of the surrounding properties were more or less damaged by fire 
or water. The building adjoining the theatre on the East was occupied by 
Oscar Wilson as a drinking saloon and a residence for his family, and the second 
floor by the Neptune Club, a social organization, whose rooms were quite 
handsomely furnished; the roof was badly burned and the building flooded with 
water. The next building to the East was the old Kohn mansion, 1019 Chestnut 
street; this was owned and occupied by Thomas C. Love, a merchant tailor, as 
a residence and place of business. The roof of this building was almost entirely 
destroyed, and the house flooded with water; the Insurance Patrol, however, 
covered up the goods and furniture and the loss was not serious. The drug 
store of A. B. Taylor, 1015 Chestnut street, and the large building, No. 1013 
Chestnut street, occupied by William Milligan, tailor, and several other tenants, 
escaped damage almost entirely. William Curry, dealer in leather bags, trunks, 
and fancy goods, occupied a store in front of the carriage repository, 101 1 Chest- 
nut street, escaped with slight damage. Carncross & Dixey's Eleventh-Street 
Opera House extended back to within a few feet of the wall of Fox's Theatre; 
owing to the excellent work of the firemen, the Opera House escaped without 
a particle of damage either by fire or water. The large fire-proof building at 
the corner of Tenth and Chestnut streets formed a barrier to the flames, and, no 
doubt prevented the further spread of the conflagration Eastwardly. 

In addition to the casualties mentioned above, Jerry Lee, a fireman, who 
lived at 526 South Street, fell through a sky-light and was severely injured, and 
Edward Kelly, another fireman, who resided at 509 vSouth Sixth street, was 
struck by a portion of the falling cornice from the theatre and was badly 

bruised. . , - ., . 

The fire made a tremendous light, which was seen for miles in every 
direction; notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, all the streets in the 
neighborhood were thronged with people; and the day after, the scene of the 
fire was crowded with thousands of curious sight- seers, and progress up and 
down Chestnut street, in the vicinity of the ruins, was almost impossible. 




-HtcCrowers' Agent kv\^ 


^508 and 510 Callowhill Street,^ 


B. c. nol;in, 

Wholesale and Retail Dealer in 

Dry Goods and Notions, 

Gent's Furnishing Goods a Specialty. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 


Messrs. James Patterson and R. C. Tittermary were appointed members 
of the Board of Fire Commissioners, in place of Messrs. Porter and Calhoun. 
Mr. Porter, one of the retiring Commissioners, was appointed Assistant Engineer 
in place of Mr. Stephens. There was an additional engine company organized 
and put into service during the year 1877. Mr. H. S. Boardman was appointed 
Messenger in place of W. T. Galbraith. 

Shortly after eight o'clock on the evening of January 31st, 1878, fire was 
discovered in the large four -story building, Nos. 224 and 226 Chestnut street, 
occupied by Messrs. S. P. & W. P. Smith, and George Campbell, agents and 
wholesale dealers in dry goods, prints, yarns and woolen goods. The alarm 
was immediately given, and in a few minutes thereafter the engines were on 
the ground and at work. Chief Johnson, however, seeing the danger to the 
surrounding property, sounded a second alarm, and a few minutes a third alarm> 
thus bringing a large force of firemen to the spot. The flames originated in the 
front cellar from the furnace, and spread with great rapidity to the upper floors. 
"When the lower windows and doors were broken open, a dense volume of smoke 
forced its way into the street, and carried by the strong East wind, greatly 
interfered with the work of the firemen. At one time from the place of the 
fire to Third street it was impossible to distinguish an object a foot ahead 
through the smoke, and the spectators were compelled to move above Third 

"When the fire reached the second floor, the flames burst out with great 
fury, leaping nearly half way across Chestnut street, and driving away the 
firemen and policemen for a time; the flames rapidly ascended to the upper 
stories in spite of the efforts of the firemen, and finally broke out with great 
force from the third and fourth story windows; the sheet of flame was seen for a 
long distance and was especially brilliant on the Delaware river and in Camden. 
A large number of people were on the ground soon after the fire broke out, but 
shortly after the magnitude of the conflagration was discovered, thousands of 
persons blocked up Second, Chestnut and Third streets, Carter's alley and other 
streets in the immediate vicinity. During the height of the conflagration, the 
firemen were several times compelled to leave the front of the burning building, 
on account of the falling bricks from the windows and cornice. The wind was 
blowing a gale from the Northeast, and it was thought at one time by many that 
the flames would communicate to the adjoining buildings on the West, but this 
was prevented by the heroic eff'orts of the firemen. 

The building Nos. 224 and 226 was four stories high, brown stone front, 
and extended back 130 feet to Carter's alley, and was occupied by S. P. & \V. 
P. Smith, wholesale dealers in dry goods, and George Campbell, manufacturer 
of yarns and woolen goods. Messrs. Smith had over $200,000 worth of woolen 
goods in the building all of which were destroyed. Mr. Campbell had nearly 
^70,000 worth of woolen goods on the second floor. Nothing of the building was 
left standing but the bare walls. 

No. 228 Chestnut street was occupied by Edward Gratz & Co., dry goods 
commission merchants, and by James Anderson & Co. , wholesale dealers in 
cassimere and kersey goods; the loss to both firms was considerable from water. 
Several other dry goods stores East of Bank street had their contents damaged by 



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water. On the East of the fire, No. 222, a three-story brick building, occupied 
by Uhl & Griffin Co., dry goods commission merchants and agents for the 
Madonna Mills, was not damaged to any great extent. Adjoining was a large 
four-story brownstone front building of Coffin, Altemus & Co., wholesale dry 
goods merchants. When the fire was at its fiercest, flames were discovered in 
the fourth story of this building, but were extinguished before much damage 
was done. From water, however, their loss was heavy; the Insurance Patrol 
through their promptness prevented a heavy loss. The building occupied by 
the Messrs. Smith was burned out to Carter's alley, and it was only through the 
unceasing vigilance of the firemen that buildings on the other side of the alley 
were not ignited. It was twelve o'clock before the flames were entirely 

Messrs. McCuen and McManus's time having expired as members of the 
Board of Fire Commissioners, Mr. James Corcoran and Mr. Francis P. Hagerty 
were appointed to fill the vacancies. Mr. William Staiger and John Smith were 
appointed assistant engineers in place of Messrs. Porter and Nicholson. Mr. 
William H. Johnson, Chief Engineer, resigned, and Mr John R. Cantlin was 
appointed Chief Engineer. Mr. William C. Lane was appointed Secretary in 
place of Mr. Cantlin, promoted. 

At twenty minutes of three o'clock on the morning of January 20th, 1879, 
the extensive cotton mills of John Brown & Sons, at Eighth and Tasker streets, 
were discovered to be on fire, and in a short time thereafter the flames spread 
so rapidly that the entire building was enveloped, and in less than three hours 
was completely destroyed, together with its contents. The burned property 
comprised what was known as the Main Mill, a large four-story structure having 
a frontage of 2 1 7 feet on Eighth street, extending to Mountain street on the 
South, and separated from Tasker street on the North by two small brick 
dwellings at the corner, and a row of two-story brick dwellings along the street. 
Adjoining the main building, on Mountain street, was a four-story brick 
building, ;^^ by 46 feet, used as a spreader house and office, while to the W^est 
of this was a boiler house, 42 by 57 feet, both buildings having tar and gravel 

When the flames were first seen by one of the two watchmen at the mill, 
(Messrs. Green and Muldoon), they were issuing from the central portion of the 
main mill, on the third floor on the Eighth street side; the whistle attached to 
the engine was promptly sounded, when Engine Company No. 10, stationed on 
Morris street above Eighth — a stone's throw from the mill — arrived half a minute 
afterwards. A strong Northwest wind was blowing at the time, and although 
the alarm was sent out at once from the engine-house, before the earliest to 
arrive could get properly to work, the whole building was ablaze, the flames 
bursting from all the windows, or mounting high above the roof ; three alarms 
were sounded in rapid succession, bringing thirteen engine and hose companies 
and five hook-and -ladder trucks to the scene, by the combined efibrts of whose 
men the flames were prevented from extending to surrounding property. It was 
a fortunate circumstance that the roofs of many of the dwellings in the path of 
the fire were covered with snow and ice, or the destruction of property would 
have been much greater. 








— ■-3 










*iB^ * 









1— "• 



^ ' 


1 1 » 












GEORGE NALLINGER, Asst. Engineer, 7th District. 


By six o'clock the main mill was completely destroyed, nothing being 
left but walls on Eighth and Mountain streets, a section in the latter falling 
about four o'clock, leaving a large gap down to the first floor, and so breaking 
the remainder that it had to be taken down. In this building were about 418 
looms, the first and second floors being used for weaving, and the third and 
fourth for carding and spinning. Each floor had ten sets of cards and ten mules, 
and all in ruins, falling with the floors into the basement, where it laid a broken 
twisted mass. 

Attached to the main mill were the spreader room and office building on 
Mountain street, and also the boiler house, which were almost completely gutted 
and their contents destroyed. At the Southeast corner of Eighth and Mountain 
streets, which run along the South end of these buildings, was a one-story brick 
building used as a picker house, and adjoining it on an L shaped lot, were the 
carpenter shop and waste sheds, the latter one-story frame structures. These, 
with the exception of the picker house, which had its roof, doors and window 
shutters burned off, were all destroj^ed with their contents, which lay in a 
smouldering mass, the efforts of the firemen, who kept streams of watc" upon it 
all day preventing its re-ignition, as well as the charred timbers in the mill, 
thus insuring the safety of surrounding property. While the flames were at 
their height, the occupants of the rooms of two-story houses on Mountain and 
Morris streets, adjoining the burning property, commenced removing their 
furniture, as also did those on Tasker street, in front of the mill, but fortunately 
the thick brick walls of the buildings, which were very high, and the exertions 
of the the firemen, saved the property and caused little or no damage. 

The occupants of the dwellings from 724 to 734 Tasker street got ready 
to move, their neighbors opposite kindly offering shelter, which at one time 
looked as if it would be required. A lady who was too ill to walk was carried 
from one of the houses in this row upon a sofa by her servants. 

The mill had been working full time up to the Saturday night before the 
fire, employing about 550 hands in the different departments, 400 of whom were 
girls engaged in spinning, carding, weaving etc., with every prospect of contin- 
uance for some time to come. All these were thrown out of work by the fire, 
and much distress did ensue. The large building on Tasker street. East of the 
mill, was used as an extracting house and drying room, which was burned out a 
few years prior to the time of this fire was uninjured. The mill was built in 
1871, and has been burned out twice previously, the last time in January 1873, 
after which it was rebuilt. 

The cause of the fire never became known. One of the watchmen says 
he passed through the room in which it originated less than an hour before he 
discovered it, and there was no sign of anything wrong at that time. When he 
saw a light he at once sounded the whistle and endeavored to suppress the 
flames, but it gained too rapidly to permit of his efforts being successful; the 
mill was provided with pipes, to which hose were kept attached, and also a 
forcing engine, and it was supposed that the precaution {aken would be sufficient 
to avert the loss which the firm sustained. Steam was kept up all the year for 
motive power and heating purposes, but as the fire was discovered some distance 
from the engine and boiler house, on the Eighth street front, it was difficult to 



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attribute its origin to that spot. The firemen had some difficulty in getting to 
work on account of frozen plugs, and during the progress of the fire, suffered 
much from the intense cold, which turned the water into ice almost as soon as 
it fell; the light was seen for a great distance, and hands from the surrounding 
neighborhood left their beds and repaired to the spot. 

The dreaded fire-king, to which all American cities seem liable, enforced 
another dreadful lesson in Philadelphia. On the morning of April 6th, 1879, 
one of the most extensive and destructive conflagrations ever known in Phila- 
delphia occurred near the heart of the city, and threatened at one time to rival 
the previous disasters of Chicago and Boston, destroying thirty buildings, 
including a few dwellings and numerous factories and stores. The fire was 
discovered at quarter before one o'clock; an alarm was sent in from box 128, 
situated in the immediate vicinity of Crown and Race streets, announcing the 
beginning of one of the most destructive fires experienced in this city for some 
years, the area of ground covered being nearly three acres in extent, the 
estimated damage to property amounting to considerably over half a million of 
dollars, one life being lost and several persons very severely injured. The 
district embraced by the fire lines in the Sixth Ward, a bustling and thriving 
centre, and comprised within its range a very large number of influential 
manufacturing and industrial concerns. It extended on the North and South 
sides of Race street, from Crown to Fourth streets, and ran back from Race 
street, in a Northerly direction, from 100 to 200 yards, and on the opposite side 
of Race street, between the points named, its course ran Southerly almost the 
same distance. The properties destroyed and damaged numbered thirty, only 
four of which were occupied solely as dwellings. 

It is believed that the fire originated about twenty minutes of one o'clock 
in the cellar in the Northwestern end of James Smith & Co.'s manufactory, a 
large five-story brick building erected on the site of Newhall, Borie & Co.'s 
extensive sugar refinerv, which was burned on the evening of July 26th, 1870; 
the cellar lay in the immediate line of the wide stairway which extended all the 
way up to the fifth story, and the flames ascending the hollow shute formed by 
the stairway, and meeting no obstacles, save the closed doors, rapidly gained a 
hold on the fifth story, which was occupied by Smith & Co. , as a manufactory 
of card clothing and was full of machinery. There being no intervening or 
dividing walls on this or any of the floors of the building, the fire had a clean 
sweep and was enabled to gain great headway. Rushing through the windows, 
fronting on Race street at the top of the building, the flames, driven by the 
Northwesterly wind, darted across the street, and set fire instantly to the 
window-glass manufactory of Whitall, Tatum & Co., 408 and 410 Race street. 
Right at this stage. Chief Engineer John R. Cantlin, seeing that the efforts of 
the members of Fire Companies Nos. 8, 24 and 26 would be fruitless in staying 
the progress of the flames unless further aid speedily arrived, and noting the 
fact that the fire in Smith's factory had caught on the fourth, third and second 
stories, ordered a general alarm to be sounded; the burning glass factor^' blaxed 
like tinder-wood. In less than twenty minutes it had set fire on one side to an 
unoccupied five-story brick factory lately used by Thackera Buck & Co. , in the 
manufacture of chandeliers, gas fixtures, etc., and on the other side to the 


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four-story brick building, occupied by Frederick FruU as a beer saloon and 

During this time the extensive five-story brick structure adjoining that of 
James vSmith & Co. on the East, a great part of which was occupied by William 
Waterall & Co., paint dealers and manufacturers, had caught fire, and the flames 
ran rapidly through the fourth and third floors; the supply of water growing 
suddenly rather scanty, almost rendered the work of the firemen useless, and for 
a while they were able to direct but two small streams upon the flames in this 
and Smith's factory. The heat from the latter at last grew so intense that the 
firemen were compelled to remove their steamer from the corner of Crown and 
and Race streets. As it was, the steamer was smoking badly and they 
experienced no little difficulty in removing it. The supply of water here became 
more generous and lines of hose were directed upon all the burning buildings, 
but in the midst of their labors, and whilst they were suff"ering terribly from the 
heat arising from the fires on each side of the street, the firemen were startled 
with the cry that the walls were falling; they had scarcely retreated, when, 
with a loud crash, the heavy front walls of Smith's factory fell across the street 
upon the glass factory, bringing it also to the ground. During the excitement 
raised by the falling of the walls, it was rumored that some children as well as 
several firemen had been knocked down and killed, and that they had been 
buried under the debris. It was found on inquiry that Albert T. Fruh, residing 
in the vicinity of Eighth and Vine streets, and Foreman Samuel Dunlap, of 
Engine Company No. 21, had been rather seriously injured, and they were 
conveyed to the house occupied by the Fire Insurance Patrol, on Arch street, 
above Fifth. After receiving medical aid here, they were after some time sent 
to the Pennsylvania Hospital, where about ten o'clock, a. m., Fruh died. While 
the lower part of Smith's factory was still standing, the Burring Machine Works, 
a two-story brick structure whichstoodbetween Waterall' sand Smith's factories, 
were also ablaze, and Mr. Proctor, a partner of Mr. Smith in the Burring works, 
arriving upon the ground, offered a reward of $100 to any per.son who would 
save the books of the firm, which lay on the desk near the front entrance. James 
Mack, foreman of Truck D, animated by a wish to earn the reward, rushed into 
the building and, while some of his comrades poured a stream of water upon 
him, secured the books and escaped to the street uninjured. This was a fool- 
hardy act; but it goes to show the amount of nerve possessed by the majority of 
. the members of the department. If there had been life to save there would 
have been no need of a reward, and instead of one man there would have been 
a dozen all eager to be the first. 

The falling walls from the rear of Smith's factory broke in the roofs of 
Nos. 215 and 217 Crown street— dwelling houses occupied respectively by Mrs. 
Campbell and Bryan Fox— and the inmates ran into the street, and were 
provided with shelter by residents in the vicinity. At the Northeastern end of 
the factory was an L shaped structure, besides the boiler houses and stables, 
and the flames from it and the rear portions of Waterall' s building rapidly 
communicated with surrounding properties, setting them on fire. Here it was 
that the firemen had considerable difficulty in fighting the fire, for while they 
were attempting to direct the water upon it, the various floors in Waterall's 





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building had become very much weakened by the fire and the joists yeilding; 
six large safes containing precious stones, etc., in the fourth storj", which was 
occupied by H. Muhr's Sons, jewelers, fell through the floors, taking with them 
in their descent part of the walls, some of which fell on Fourth and Race streets 
and some into the interior of the building. 

The houses then on fire on either side of Race, on Fourth street, extended 
from No. 164 as far up as No. 220, and their terrified inmates hurried from them, 
the women and children screaming loudly. In one instance three children were 
rescued by the firemen. Despite their utmost exertions, and they worked 
energetically^ during the entire night, the firemen had not subdued the flames 
until between four and five o'clock, a. m.; the fire however, was not completely 
extinguished until two days afterwards. A tank in the basement of Waterall's 
building, containing 2,000 gallons of oil, and which, together with the inflam- 
mable nature of the material, such as paints, oils, chemicals, etc., comprising 
the contents of Waterall's stores, no doubt added very much to the fuel of the 

At the beginning of the fire several persons stated that they heard an 
explosion coming from the interior of Smith's factory, and that it was caused by 
a barrel of benzine, which they believed, had been stored in the basement 
where the fire originated. Mr. Cunningham, of James Smith & Co., stated 
positively that there was no benzine or other explosive material stored, there, 
and that there was no such explosion. His assertion was corroborated by the 
opinions of quite a number of persons, who were but a short distance from the 
the fire, and they said the so-called explosion was really the noise caused by the 
falling floors. Along different parts of the fire-ground were scattered quite a 
number of sections of hose which had become useless either through having 
been burned or having bursted. The scene of the fire was visited by thousands 
of spectators from all quarters of the city, and, for the purpose of preventing 
them approaching too near the buildings, ropes were stretched across Race, 
Fourth and Crown streets, at proper distances; this was really necessary, for at 
the Northwest corner of Fourth and Race streets stood the outside walls of 
Waterall's building, and on either side, which were likely to topple over at any 

Below will be found a list of the buildings burned and otherwise 
damaged : 

The large five-story brick building, situated at the Northeast corner of 
Race and Crown streets, which was completely destroyed, was owned and partly 
occupied by James Smith & Co. It was at the time of the fire almost a new 
structure, having been erected in 1S76, and was .so strongly built that by many 
it was believed to be almost fire-proof. Its walls after the first story, the front 
on Race street, being of iron, were 36 inches inches in thickness, the remaining 
stories being 24 inches thick, and it extended 150 feet on Crown street by 50 
feet on Race street. The L building referred to above was 16 feet long, near it 
being the boiler houses and stable, a fair passage-way running from the stable 
to a large gate entrance fronting on Race street. A part of the basement 
was occupied by S. G. Taylor & Co., felt hat-body manufacturers and their 
entire stock was destroyed. The rest of the basement was used by Smith & Co., 





Fire Insurance Only. 


DECEMBER 31st, 1891. 

Capital, - - - ^400,000.00 

Reserve (for all liabilities), - 662,487.74 
Surplus over all liabilities, - 210,7^8.46 

Assets, -* - - ^1,273,236.20 







W, G. WARDEN, President. CHAS. ROBERTS, Vice-President. 

G. B. ARMITAGE, Secretary. CLARENCE E. PORTER, Ass't Secretary. 

Losses paid since organization, - $2,835,362.24 
Dividends paid since organizat'n $1,673,215.00 


as well as the first, fourth and fifth stories, in their business as manufacturers of 
machine card clothing, oak leather belting and mill supplies of various kinds. 
In these apartments were stored costly machinery and a large quantity of stock. 
The second story was occupied by S. R. & F. Hansell, manufactureres of 
upholstery trimmings, fringes, etc. In this story was the office-quarters of 
Chesterman & McHenry, also that of the Passenger Fare Enumerator Company. 
Ig. Kohler, book publisher, etc., occupied No. 202. The third story was occupied 
by John Thornton & Co., pearl buttons, and by Chester Smith & Co., shirt 
manufacturers. H. Muhr's Sons, manufacturing jewelers, occupied the fourth 
floor; this firm had in six safes unfinished jewelry and precious stones; the safes 
were buried under the ruins, and the condition of their contents was perfect 
when gotten out several days later ;most of the finished stock of this firm was in 
their store at 158 Second street. The fifth story was occupied by Kuhn & 
Coblentz, manufacturers of buttons. John Misch, bottler, occupied the basement 
and first floor of 204 North Front street. Cox & Sons, manufacturers of steam 
and gas fitters' tools, occupied 206. F. Voelker, tavern-keeper, occupied 208 
North Fourth street. No. 214 was occupied by M. Daily, match manufacturer 
and general manager of Swift, Courtney & Beecher Manufacturing Company. 
William M. Tiel & Brother, cabinet-makers, 216 North Fourth street. C. H: 
Bittersdorf, cutler and scissors grinder, 218 North Fourth street. August Faul, 
baker, 220 North Fourth street. No. 215 Crown street, a dwelling house, 
occupied by Mrs. Campbell. No. 217 Crown street, a dwelling house, occupied 
by Bryan Fox. 

Commencing at the Southwest corner of Race and Fourth streets was a 
five-story brick building occupied by A. W. Stuart & Sons, booksellers, 
stationers and printers, which extended back on Race street, to the distance of 
about 100 feet. The fifth or upper story was completely burned out, nothing 
remaining but the walls; this was used as a store room. The third and fourth 
floors occupied as ruling and cutting rooms, in which were placed ruling and 
cutting machines; the second floor was used as a printing office, and the lower 
or ground floor, as a salesroom. Adjoining the above on Race street was the 
large five-story brick building covering the lots Nos. 402, 404, 406; this building 
was vacant at the time of the fire; the walls of that portion of the building upon 
the first two numbers was left standing though the interior was completely 
burned out. That portion occupied by No. 406 was entirely destroyed, the 
walls having fallen during the height of the fire, and nothing remained but 
a mass of debris. The glass manufactory of Whitall, Tatum & Co., Nos. 408, 
410 and 412 Race street, adjoined the empty building, and extended back about 
150 feet; the upper stories were full of plate and window glass. Nothing was 
left of this building but a pile of bricks and stones, the entire stock, of course 
being completely destroyed. Frederick Fruh occupied 414 Race street as a 
beer saloon and dwelling; the building was totally destroyed. Joseph E. Hover 
& Co. occupied 416 Race street, which was a three-story brick structure; the 
lower portion was used as a manufactory of Hover's inks, writing fluid, hair 
dye, etc., and the two upper stories as a dwelling by J. E. Hover; the first floor 
was burned out, and but little of the stock was saved; the dwelling portion was 
also badly burned, and nearly all the furniture so much damaged that it was of 





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840 <& 842 North Third Street, 



but little use. Jacob Leonard occupied 418 Race street as a beer saloon; his 
stock was very badly damaged; the roof was burned off. The upper floors 
were occupied by James Ryan, Davis Brothers and B. Beck, alf shoe manufac- 
turers. The beer saloon and restaurant of John Hammer, 420 Race street, was 
a four-story brick building; the stock and fixtures were badly damaged. The 
dwelling house, 422 Race street, was unoccupied. On the West side of Fourth 
street below Race, was No. 170, and the lower floor was occupied by Aschenbach 
& Hahn, merchant tailors, and the two upper floors by Julius Schlinkman as a 
dwelling. Fred. Schomaker occupied 168 North Fourth street, a four-story 
brick building, as a shoe store and dwelling. No. 166 North Fourth street was 
occupied by Jacob Koehl, as a saloon and dwelling, and was a thiee-story and 
garret structure. CoUis & Lees, stationers, occupied 152; they suffered 
considerably by water. 

In the court in the rear of Whitall, Tatum & Co.'s building, three small 
dwelling houses were scorched by the flames and no other damage was done 
except by water. As soon as the fire reached the South side of Race street, the 
inmates removed all their household effects. The flames were fanned by the 
wind to such an extent that after a time the large paint and oil store of R. 
Shoemaker & Co. caught fire; the fire was confined to the roof, but the stock in 
the upper stories was considerably damaged by water. The paint and varnish 
store of John Lucas & Co., 141 North Fourth street, was also ignited. 

The total loss at this fire was $693,500. 

The following casualties occurred during the fire : The only fatal acci- 
dent reported is that occurring to Albert F. Fruh, aged 33 years, who resided 
at 812 Vine street. Mr. Fruh was caught by a falling wall about three o'clock 
in the morning, sustaining injuries which caused his death on the following 
day. At the time of the accident he was assisting his brother, Frederick, in 
the yard of the latter's saloon, 414 Race street, and both were struck by the 
falling wall of "Whitall & Tatum's glass warehouse. Frederick Fruh was severely 
injured about the head and arms. Samuel Dunlap, foreman of Engine Company 
No. 21, was buried beneath the ruins by a falling wall, and was gotten out with 
some difficulty; he was seriously injured. William Garvin, of No. 5 Engine, 
fell off a roof during the falling of a wall on Race street, but escaped without 
serious injury. 

At 8.27 o'clock on Saturday night, November ist, 1879, some citizens 
discovered flames issuing from the rear of the four-story brick grain and flour 
warehouse, Nos. 1729-31 and ^^ Market street, owned by Nathan Brooke and 
Cofiin Colket, with a frontage of 84 feet and a depth of 180 feet, and tenanted 
by Robert Fletcher, jobber in flour, in 1729; Pugh & Kirk, flour and grain 
merchants, in 1731; Brooke & Harper, general breadstufts, 1733. Immediately 
to the East of the warehouse was situated Galloway & Groff 's pottery storehouse, 
and to the West the West Chester Railroad's freight office. The alarm was 
quickly given, but before the fire department had reached the spot the flames 
had spread to such an extent and were extending so rapidly towards the upper 
floors of the building, that it was deemed expedient to sound a second alarm, 
which was shortly afterward followed by a third. In less than twenty minutes 
after the first discovery it became apparent that neither the large building nor 




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any of the contents could possibly be saved, and the efiforts of the firemen were 
mainly devoted to saving the adjoining and surrounding properties. The stock 
of grain burned with great fury, sending up vast showers of sparks and live 
coals to the height of several hundred feet, which were then borne by the wind 
to an Easterly and Southerly direction, eventually to fall into the streets or on 
the house-tops. Some of these coals were wafted as far as Broad and Locust 
streets many of them the size of a silver dollar. The Fire Insurance Patrol 
directed its energies to the care of the houses in the immediate vicinity, and 
extinguished a number of incipient fires, which had kindled upon the tops of 

Engine No. 17, one of the first to arrive, had been placed directly in front 
of the burning building and did good service until the intense heat, as the 
flames shot out from the doorways and windows, drove the engineer and stoker 
away from their post, and the top of the front wall of No. 1731 began to topple. 
Before a rope could be secured to attach to the engine and draw it beyond 
danger — it being impossible to get the animals to go ntar the scorching heat — 
the wall came crashing down into Market street; the engine was left standing in 
a mass of debris of brick and moUar reaching to the hubs of the wheels. A 
stream of water was now poured upon the machine in the endeavor to keep it 
cool and avoid a total loss. In order to render the danger of the boiler bursting 
beyond question, one of the firemen ventured to the engine, with the water 
pouring on him from two lines of hose. While he was endeavoring to turn the 
safetj'^-valve, another section of the wall fell, and the bricks crashed down 
upon the engine, breaking three of the wheels — by little short of a miracle — 
leaving the fireman unhurt. 

By this time the warehouse was a mass of fire, and the firemen had taken 
their position on the pottery roof to the East, and on the top of the railroad 
depot to the West. They had also run out five loaded cars to the street and 
had left one stuck in the curve at the entrance; these were crowded with 
spectators, and Market street was thronged with people for a square on either 
side of the fire; the people were unruly. Ropes were surged through as fast as 
they were stretched, and they were only kept back by finally turning the water 
upon them, drenching hundreds to the skin, but completely accomplishing the 
object intended. 

The .east wall of the warehouse which over-topped the pottery establish- 
ment by one story, except a portion in the centre, stood solid and firm, and was 
the barrier alone which prevented the fire from extending clear through to 
Seventeenth street on the North side of Market, On the West side. Assistant 
Engineer Staggart stood on the roof of the West Chester depot, along wnth 
about a dozen hosemen. The west wall had given evidence of shaking some 
time; and in spite of warnings of spectators, who saw and appreciated the 
condition, the firemen continued at their work — the crash at length came, and 
twenty-five square yards of the wall fell outwards, down and into the depot 
floor, crushing it as easily as an egg-shell, and bearing down the firemen to the 
ground, all in a heap with rafters and other timbers. None who saw the accident 
ever expected to see one of the unfortunate men come out alive. Fortunately 
though, the wall had not fallen directly upon the little knot of firemen, but to 
their right, and all the injuries sustained came with the fall of the roof. 

.._i^MiP!iiiiiiiittu»iiiiii iMntpiitiiifn* 




L \ ^qMl^ \wsa.) l»M t iiHiah ' ^aai:!! 



\iBaa; lania: ttaatf I 



-■ Tl 

= 11 


The first to crawl out was Assistant Engineer Staggart, uninjured, save a 
bruised leg and a few scratches. He continued at his duty, and a rescuing 
party brought from the ruins three men that needed attention, who were Edward 
Connor, Charles Olcott, of Engine No. 26, and John Hughes, of Engine No. 18. 
Connor was found to have his head and hip hurt and lacerated, besides sustaining 
internal injuries. Olcott' s nose was broken, and his face cut in several places. 
Hughes' arm was broken in two places. 

At nine o'clock the conflagration had reached its height; the walls with 
the exception of the east wall had all fallen, the north as it gave way doing 
some damage to the small stables on Jones street, below Eighteenth, the 
property of Samuel Johnson. This only caused the members of the department 
to attack their enemy with renewed vigor. About ten o'clock the fire-fiend 
acknowledged the fireman to be its master, and a few minutes later all danger 
of further conflagration was at an end. 

Shortly before two o'clock on the morning of January 14th, 1880, a 
destructive fire broke out in Scott's spring manufactory, Pollard street, near 
Laurel, a two-story brick building, and in a few minutes extended to J. J. 
Plucker & Co. 's furniture factory, a four-story brick structure on Canal street, 
near Laurel. Both buildings with their contents were destroyed. The spoke 
factory of John Buckley, 1022, 1024 and 1026 New Market street, next caught, 
and from there the fire spread to Ofel's cabinet factory, both of which, as well 
as Robert Withington's machine shop, were burned out. Several adjacent 
buildings were damaged, and nothing but good judgment on the part of the 
officers and the excellent work of the members of the fire department prevented 
this from being one of the most destructive fires that had ever occured in 
this city. 

Shortly before two o'clock, on the morning of April ist, 1880, fire broke 
out in a large building at the end of the Northwest corner of Twelfth and Noble 
streets occupied by several manufacturing firms, and in a short time the whole 
structure, three stories in height, w-as almost entirely destroyed. The occupants 
were the Novelty Paper Box Co., Brown & Owen, iron railing manufacturers; 
James Connoway & Co., manufacturers of umbrella frames; Israel H. Johnson, 
Jr., & Co., machinists; Bremer Brothers, manufacturers of sewing machines.' 
Loss was $50,000. 

About half-past ten o'clock on the morning of May 17th, 1880, a fire broke 
out in the Continental Brewery of John Gardiner & Co., at the Southwest corner 
of Washington avenue and Twenty-first street, which, spreading rapidly through 
the upper portion of the building caused considerable damage to those portions 
on Twenty-first, and at the eastern end of Washington avenue. The fire 
originated in a grist mill, and was believed to have been caused by a spark from 
the grain crusher igniting a quantity of dry malt. The fire assumed such a 
threatening appearance that three alarms w^ere sounded, and the united efforts 
of the firemen soon placed the fire under control, and prevented its spreading to 
neighboring'buildings. It was, however, necessary to throw large quantities of 
water into the brewery, and by this, the whole stock including nearly 900 bales 
of hops and a large quantity of malt and grain were utterly ruined. Up to the 
time the second alarm was sounded, the firemen had confined themselves to 




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GEORGE A. VVIES, Secretary. 


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that portion where the fire originated, but shortly after eleven o'clock smoke 
was seen to issue from the cupola on the centre of the building on "Washington 
avenue, and in a few minutes the flag stafi" was found to be in a light blaze. The 
Scott-Uda ladder was brought into service, but before it could be put together 
and raised the two upper floors were burning freely. Shortly after the fire 
broke out, a large water tank over the grinding room burst, and its contents ran 
to the lower floors, carrying in the rush of water a large quantity of grain. The 
brewery extended 229 feet on Washington avenue, and 130 feet on Twenty-first 
street, being four stories in height with- an attic; the three lower floors were 
used for manufacturing, and the upper floors for storage. The malt house was 
75 X 100 feet in dimensions, five stories in height with an attic. The lower floor 
was used for storage, four floors for malting, and the upper floor for a barley 
loft and steep room; the steeping was done in an iron tank, 70 feet long, 15 feet 
wide, and 3>< feet deep, having capacity for steeping 1,600 bushels of barley; 
there were four drying kilns, each 20 x 75 feet. An elevator building was used 
exclusivel)^ for receiving and cleaning barley and malt. All the buildings were 
lighted by electricity, a 30-horse power engine being used to drive the electric 
machines. The capacity of the brewery was 50,000 barrels annually, and the 
capacity of the malt house 15,000; the foundation of the structure was laid in 
April 1878, and that portion at the corner of Twenty-first street was rebuilt 
in 1879. 

Shortly after four o'clock on the afternoon of June 24th, 1880, fire broke 
out in the stable in the rear of the lumber yard on Marriott street, above Third 
street, occupied by James S. Smyth. An alarm was given, which was responded 
to by the companies in that fire district. Upon their arrival it was discovered 
that the flames had spread throughout the entire building, and a second alarm 
was sounded which brought additional companies and they at once went into 
service. The fire continued to gain headway, and it was soon seen that the 
entire block of houses bounded by Third and Fourth and Christian and Marriott 
streets were in danger of destruction, A third alarm was sounded over the 
wires, and soon after a general alarm, which called to the ground the entire 
department. With all this additional force, the fire continued to burn stubbornly 
spreading in several different directions, and defying the eff'orts of the firemen 
to get it under control. During the early stages of the conflagration, a large 
crowd gathered which rapidly increased in numbers until the avenues of 
approach were completely blocked. 

The excitement in the neighborhood was intense, and the occupants of 
the houses endangered, began to pack up their household articles preparatory to 
removal. As the danger increased, furniture and all movables were hastily 
carried out and piled upon the highways, the owners and occupants of the 
dwellings being generously and materially aided by those attracted to the scene, 
who worked as though it was their property which was in danger of destruction. 
While this was going on, additional excitement was created by the discovery 
that attempts were being made to steal the goods removed from the houses, and 
three arrests were made which put a stop to the pilfering. 

The stable of Mr. Young, 331 Marriott street, which was of brick, two 
stories high, was occcupied by hucksters, and some time after four o'clock a 











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lad apparently ten j^ears old was seen to run from it. He cried fire, and fled 
up Marriott street, within a few minutes thereafter smoke was seen issuing from 
the structure; the flames then burst out and communicated to Mr. Smyth's 
lumber yard. His large stock there stored was soon ablaze, the flames leaping 
from pile to pile of lumber finally communicated to the sash and frame mill of 
Mr. Nice, Jr., successor to Nice &Good, adjoining on the East; this increased the 
volume of the fire, and the heat became so intense that in a short time the houses 
on the South side of Marriott street were ignited. The occupants of these houses 
speedily removed their effects to the rear, where they were comparatively safe 
from the fire, though they were subsequently damaged by water. All hope of 
saving the mill on the side of the street being by this time abandoned, 
the firemen directed their principal efforts to saving the dwellings. The fronts 
and roofs were badly damaged before this was accomplished, and in the mean- 
time, a brisk wind from the Southwest drove the flames and sparks in a 
Northeasterly direction, and in a short time the rear portions of several dwellings 
fronting on Christian street were set on fire, and almost simultaneously, the 
roofs of the dwellings on the West side of Third street, below Christian, began 
to blaze, and it became apparent that the houses in the block would be damaged 
by either fire or water. 

This was about six o'clock, when the working people were returning to 
their homes, and they stopped in scores to view the sight, swelling the crowd 
to proportions which greatly impeded the efforts of the firemen who were 
dispatched from other parts of the ground, to quell, if possible, these new 
outbreaks. While the attention of the firemen was directed to these quarters, 
the flames gradually worked their way Westward, and ignited the roofs of several 
dwellings on the East side of Fourth street, North of Marriott; the danger that 
the fire would extend still further was then imminent, bnt details of firemen 
were sent to extinguish this new conflagration, while others kept the flames in 
check at the other points. These eff"orts were successful, and shortly after six 
o'clock, the danger of a further extension of the fire was at an end. At this 
juncture, the west wall of Nice's mill fell and it was reported that a number of 
firemen were buried beneath — the crowd at once made an efi"ort to break down 
the ropes and rush to the spot, but were prevented by the police; the report was 
unfounded, though several narrow escapes from injury were made by firemen in 
the immediate vicinity. 

At Fourth and Marriott streets, however, James Cahill, laddermau of 
Truck B, fell from a ladder erected against one of the houses and sustained a 
compound fracture of the left arm. Another accident happened to John 
McCourt, engineer of Engine No. 22, who had his left arm fractured by being 
caught in the fly wheel of his steamer. Samuel Edgar, of Engine No. i , was 
also injured about the head and body by falling bricks from the cornice of the 
building. Several other accidents were reported, but they were of a minor char- 
acter; after receiving attention the men were enabled to return to their duty. The 
work of the firemen was most arduous, compelled as they were to withstand the 
smoke which filled the atmosphere, and to support the great heat of the weather 
and that of the flames, which was so intense on Marriott street at one time 
that it seemed impossible for any person to live in it. Heated and tired, these 




Nos. 151, 153 and 155 

i«tlCF[MOND # STREET,»» 





CHAS. F. SCHOENING. Trcas.andSec'ty. 

Telephone No* 4478. 




Cuban ({and FQade Cigars, 

304 Cherry Street, 
Factory No. 788 1st District Pa. PHILADELPHIA. 

The firemkn'vS record. 177 

men suffered still further from the scarcity of drinking water, the draft upon the 
supply mains being so great that none could be obtained at the hydrants in the 
neighborhood, and but little alleviation of their thirst could be had from ice 
although some were able to get it, the supply was too meagre to supply all. In 
addition to the fire department, the private fire brigade of Alex. Young, con- 
sisting of 3 chemical engine and ten men, did good service in preventing the 
destruction of the houses on Christian street. 

About five o'clock on the afternoon of January 30th, 1881, a fire broke 
out on Pier 19, North of Delaware avenue, which burned stubbornly for nearly 
two hours. The pier was covered with a wooden structure, two stories in 
height, and about 300 feet in dimension. The lower floor was occupied mostly 
for wharfage purposes, but in the Southwest corner, B. F. Egbert, produce 
commission dealer, had his office in a small wooden structure; the upper floor 
was occupied exclusively by Isaac A. Barber, manufacturer of cider vinegar. 
The fire originated in Mr. Egbeit's office, which was at the time in charge 
of Francis Engelman, aged sixty, who resided on Second street, near Vine. 
During the progress of the fire, Engelmen either fell from or jumped out ot the 
window into the dock and was drowned, or killed by striking his head on the 
ice. The building was erected in 1854. 

Shortly after four o'clock on the morning of January 31st, 1881, a Fifth 
District policeman, patroling the beat from Broad to Seventh street, on Spruce, 
saw as he approached Broad street a light as of fire flashing inside of the Beth- 
Eden Baptist Church, on the Northwest corner of Broad and Spruce streets. 
After satisfying himself that the interior of the church was on fire, he ran to a 
fire-alarm box about a square and a-half away, and sounded the alarm. Upon 
returning, he found the church almost completely enveloped in flames. The fire 
department soon arrived upon the ground, and got to work, playing steady 
streams upon the burning building, but apparently without effect. On the North. 
East and South sides of the building, were large Gothic windows, which were 
soon cracked by the heat of the flames, making an open draughtway through 
which the wind rushed in, fanning the fire into renewed strength. Immediately 
after the windows were destroyed, it became manifest that the fire would be 
difficult to control. The houses on the South side of Spruce street began to 
show the effects of the heat, by the woodwork cracking and curling. Opposite 
to the large Gothic windows of the church was the house of Mr. Thomas S. 
Fernon, No. 1402, which was particularly subjected to the heat of the flames 
and ignited thereby, the cornice first catching fire and spreading along the roof, 
which was badly damaged. The fire communicated to the adjoining houses on 
both sides, but was gotten under control before any serious injury was done. 

The wind rushing through the south window of the church forced the 
flames out through the north side across Lardner street, and against the south 
wall of Horticultural Hall, thence rising to the roof, it soon ignited. By this time 
the church was little more than a mass of ruins; the roof had fallen in, and only 
the stone walls remained. A number of steady streams were played upon the 
Hall, but the fire burned stubbornly and with such rapidity that the efforts of 
the firemen to save the building proved to be futile, although the flames were 
prevented from spreading to the Academy of Music on the North, separated from 




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Horticultural Hall only by a narrow yard; or to the Ellis stable building on the 
West, between it and the Hall was a high thick stone wall. The roof of the 
Hall, supported by sixteen massive girders, and weighing about eight tons each, 
fell with a crash, and the large building was soon almost a complete wreck. 
The brown stone front of the Hall backed by a thick wall remained almost intact, 
but the interior above the first floor was utterly destroyed by fire. The weight 
of falling girders placed upon the ceiling of the lower hall and broke it in places 
but the principal damage done to the lower part of the building was caused less 
by the actual flames, than by the excessive heat and the water with which the 
building was deluged. 

The main hall, which was used for lectures, concerts and exhibitions of 
a general character, was furnished with a stage and constructed with rear 
stairways; the chief furniture of this hall was composed of benches nearly all of 
which were destroyed. The lower hall just above the level of the street had 
been occupied as a bicycle school, and when the fire first caught the building 
forty-eight bicycles were stored there; they were all removed with no other 
damage than being made rusty by the water. During the confusion attendant 
upon removing the bicycles one of them was stolen. In front of the Hall were 
the offices and library of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which 
sustained some damage from the water. At one time it seemed as if the Academy 
of Music would also be a victim to the flames, but, by means of a Hayes' Fire 
Ladder, two lines of hose were carried to the roof of the Academy, and being 
well directed, prevented the advance of the flames, and aided considerably in 
extinguishing the fire in Horticultural Hall. 

The fire was supposed to have originated from a defective heater. About 
three months before the fire occurred, two portable furnaces which were unsafe 
were removed, and substantial brick heaters placed in the cellar of the church; 
their positions were respectively North and South of the exact centre of the 
edifice; the south heater was used to heat the lecture room and other connecting 
apartments, and the north heater exclusively for the body of the church itself. 
•John Grahm, the sexton of the church, stated that he was in the habit of 
making up the fire in the north heater every Friday, so as to have it in good 
order for Sunday, and after Sunday afternoon, he allowed it to go out slowly; 
the south heater he kept in use every day, so that it might heat the lecture hall 
whenever a meeting was held. Mr. Grahm stated that he left the church after 
nine o'clock on Sunday evening, having examined the heaters; in the south 
heater there was a good strong fire, but in the other merely a light, slumbering 
one. He could not account for the origin of the fire. The arrangement and 
construction of the heaters ofi"ered some clew as to the cause of the conflagration; 
they were walled in brick and roofed with tin, and above the roof was a single 
thickness of brick, probably not more than two and a-half inches in width. 
Immediately above this narrow brick partition were the wooden floor-beams or 
girders. The theory as to the origin of the fire is that one of the heaters — 
presumably from appearances the northern one — so heated the brick partition 
that the woodwork was thus ignited, and communicated to the floor above, and 
was a total loss. 


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James T. Shinn, a druggist, owned and occupied the building at the 
Southwest corner of Broad and Spruce streets; the front and back roofs were 
burned oflfand the furniture damaged by water; the stock and fixtures in the 
drug store were not damaged, and no interruption to business occurred. No. 
1402 Spruce street was owned and occupied by Thomas S. Fernon, the roof of 
the front and back buildings and the garret were burned, the entire front badly 
scorched and blistered, and the lower floors flooded with water. In addition to 
the loss of furniture, Mr. Fernon sustained a severe loss by the destruction of 
private papers and books — the accumulation of a life time. No. 1404 Spruce 
street was owned and occupied by Jane Shaw. No. 1406 Spruce street belonged 
to an estate, of which R. Parker was the agent, and was occupied by J. Gilmore; 
the front and rear shingle roofs were burned off. No. 1408 Spruce street 
belonged to the estate of the late Dr. J. A. Meigs, and was occupied by a 
member of the family; the front roof of the building was partially burned off. 
On the North side of Spruce street, and adjoining the church, was the residence 
of Edward Maul; the roofs on the front and rear buildings were burned, but the 
furniture sustained little or no damage. No. 141 1, adjoining was the residence 
of Miss Mary E. Simmons; the rear roof of this building was partially burned. 
Beyond No. 141 1 on the North side, and No. 1408 on the South side of Spruce 
street, no properties were damaged. 

Beth-Eden Baptist Church was dedicated on the 3rd of April, 1870. The 
old church from which Beth-Eden was formed was the Spruce-Street Baptist 
Church. As early as 1865 the question of a removal further Westward was 
agitated, in consequence of many members of the church, who resided far 
Northward and Westward finding it inconvenient for them to attend the services 
regularly. The lot on the Northwest corner of Spruce and Broad streets, 100 
feet on the former, was secured, the old church was offered for sale, and 
towards the erection of the new church, the sum realized from the sale of the 
old church was pledged as a subscription. Subsequently the Spruce-Street 
Church was released from the pledge of subscription and sold with all its 
furniture, grounds, etc., for the almost nominal sum of $18,000, the name also 
remaining with the old church. 

The name of Beth-Eden was given to the new church, which was erected 
at the cost of $175,000, including the ground. The material used in its 
construction was mostly green stone, trimmed with red sandstone and marble, 
and it was said to have been one of the most substantially built edifices of its 
character in the city. The order of architecture was in the spirit of the early 
Gothic with a slight Venetian tendency. The tower graced the Broad street 
front, on which it was the intention of the congregation to erect a lofty steeple 
at a cost of $11,000. In appearance and finish the church was considered to 
have been one of the most beautiful edifices of its kind in America. The interior 
of the building was plainly and substantially finished in native woods. The 
church contained a very handsome organ, valued at $10,000. It contained 
two memorial marble columns of a costly character, and two handsomely painted 
memorial windows contributed by members of the congregation. 

Horticultural Hall, fronting on Broad street, but separated from Beth- 
Eden Church by a small avenue, called I^ardner street, was opened in May 1867, 



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try, Established in 1864. 

A. J, WUDENER;';S*.!;i.^'' 


by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. It had a front of 75 feet, with a 
depth of 200 feet, was substantially constructed ot stone and brick, its original 
cost having been about $175,000. Owing to acoustic deficiencies, the structure 
was remodelled in 1872, by making it a two-story building, and raising the first 
floor sixteen feet, thus making the ceiling of the main hall forty-five feet instead 
of sixty- one, but this failed to remedy the acoustic properties of the main hall, 
and for a few years prior to the fire the building had been mostly used for 
purposes in which the science of acoustics did not necessarily enter. In the 
year 1880, the building passed into the Sheriff's hands, and was sold to satisfy 
the judgments for $64,180, obtained by the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society, 
the purchaser being William L. SchaefFer, president of the Pennsylvania 
Horticultural Society, which was the lessee of the building. 

Shortly before six o'clock on the morning of August 23d, 1881, an 
explosion was heard in the second or third floor of the large fruit warehouse of 
Warner & Merritt, Nos. 50, 52 and 54 North Delaware avenue, and in an 
incredibly short space of time the entire six stories of the building were enveloped 
in flames, and in less than two hours, it was one complete mass of ruins. The 
engineer, Davis Bradford, stated that while in the engine room, on the rear end 
of the first floor, he heard an explosion of some kind, and went to the upper 
floors, and upon proceeding in that direction, he found the rooms in flames, he 
then escaped from the building and gave the alarm. The police tug "Stokley" 
steamed up from her berth above Walnut street, into the dock in front of the 
burning building, and did effective service. A second alarm was sent out to 
the fire department, and the additional engines responding, together with those 
already on the ground, saved the adjoining property from total destruction. 
The flames spread through the building in which the fire originated with such 
rapidity, and the heat engendered by the burning contents was so intense that 
the firemen soon found it useless and impossible to play upon the structure, 
and turned their attention to the surrounding buildings, which they succeeded 
in saving; the falling of the upper floors, forced out the north and south walls 
of the fruit warehouse, they towering a considerable height above the sur- 
rounding property, and in their fall they partially demolished the upper 
floors of the buildings on either side, which in turn caught fire and were 
considerably damaged before the firemen succeeded in quenching the flames. 
At the Southeast corner of Water and Arch streets, and adjoining Warner & 
Merritt's establishment, was a three-story building extending along Arch street 
to Delaware avenue, owned by L. F. Peterson, who occupied the corner store, 
and the second and third floors of the building to Delaware avenue as a flour 
and grain warehouse. The entire upper floors were crushed by the falling wall, 
with the exception of the Water street and Delaware avenue corners. The first 
floors of this building were occupied as follows : No. 6, by a branch store of 
Landreth's seed warehouse; No. 4, as an eating saloon by George Wildey, No. 
2, as an eating and cigar store by Henry Rosenbaum, and the corner of Delaware 
avenue was the Forrest House, kept by Samuel Haines — all these stores were 
completely crushed, and the hotel building rendered a ruin. Jas. G. Kitchen, 
manufacturer of woolen shoddy and dealer in woolen rags, occupied 47 Water 
street, adjoining Warner & Merritt's place on the South, as a warehouse, the 


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B O'a 





135 & 137 RACE ST., 


James J. Fletcher & Bro. 

4834 and 4836 MAIN STREET, 

Cor. ofMaplewood Ave., GERMflNTOWN, PHILfl. 



1920 Market Street. Pine St. Schuylkill. 


falling walls crushed through the Delaware avenue end of the building, carrying 
the whole four floors with it, and greatly damaging the heavy stock with water. 
Jas. E. Hires, dealer in vanilla beans and root beer, occupied the first floor of 
the Delaware avenue end of the building, his stock and fixtures were completely 
destroyed by the heavy bales and debris of the upper floors. Jno. Moore & Co., 
packers and dealers in leaf tobacco, 45 North Water street, reported their stock 
of tobacco greatly damaged by smoke. Bettle & Bros., dealers in wool, occupied 
the second, third and fourth floors of 41 and 43, and the third and fourth floors 
of 45 North Water street, sustained damage by smoke and water. 

At the breaking out of the fire, there were in the building in which the 
fire originated besides the engineer, three other employees, whose names were 
Francis Beck, James Fitzgerald and Henry Barnum, all were on the 
fifth floor, preparing to go to work when the explosion occurred. Beck, clad 
only in his underclothing, started down stairs, calling to the other men to follow. 
He had considerable difiiculty in making his way down the stairs, owing to the 
smoke and heat, the former of which so affected him, that he fell at the head of 
the stairs leading to the first floor and then rolled down. Fitzgerald and Barnum 
were not known to have left the building, and their continued absence led to the 
supposition that they had become suffocated with the smoke, and upon the 
falling of the floors and walls, were crushed under them. This supposition later 
in the day was proved to be correct, so far as one of them was concerned, as in 
the afternoon a number of firemen commenced removing the debris on the 
Water street end of the burned building, in search of the bodies of the two men. 
About three o'clock their efforts were partially rewarded by the discovery of the 
charred remains of a human being, but so badly burned as to be unrecognizable. 
The body was placed in a box and taken to the Fourth District Station House, 
and subsequently to the morgue. The search was continued up to six o'clock 
for the remaining body, but without result until the following morning when it 
was found crushed and burned beyond recognition. 

The exact origin has always remained somewhat of a mystery. Mr. 
Merritt was of the impression that the gas pipe on one of the upper floors 
exploded, and set fire to the woodwork. It was stated that the fire started in 
the engine room, but this the engineer is said to have denied. As considerable 
dry heat is used in drying the desiccated cocoa, it was conjectured that spon- 
taneous combustion occurred, but this would not account for the report said to 
have been heard by the engineer and others. 

During the year 1881 a Hayes' Truclk was purchased and placed in service 
at B Truck House. 

Shortly before eleven o'clock on the morning of February 20th, 1882, as 
some workmen were engaged in cleaning out the first floor of the large building 
No. 244 North Delaware avenue, which was about to be taken possession of by 
Wittig, Gerold & Co., as a produce commission house, they detected a smell of 
smoke, and on hastening to the third floor of the Water street end of the 
building, they found a large bale of cotton on fire ; they attempted to extinguish 
the flames, but without success. The fire spread among the inflammable 
materials with alarming rapidity, and the smoke became so dense that the men 
were driven from the building, which was one of a block owned by the Harrison 


Manufacturer and 
Wholesale and Retail Dealer in 

Imported, Key West and Domestic Cigars, 

3300 CHESXIVUT STREET, West Philadelph 
Branch Store:— 249 South Frout Street. 


Philadelphia and New York Daily, Sunday and Weekly Papers. Smokers' Articles and 
Fine Stationery. Special Attention Given to Bo.x Trade. 




U < 



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|cirfe5r|' ^\mi |ujgU5a, {uraitm mi toieridr |iiiuf3lk8, 


S13 ivor^th: s:eoo]vi> s^jpt^ket:', 


& Brock estate, running from Water street to Delaware avenue, four stories 
high, of brick and iron on the former, and five stories high, with iron fronts, on 
the latter. Berge & Meyer, cotton and woolen rag dealers, occupied the whole 
of the building, numbered 239, on Water street, except the fourth floor, which 
was occupied by R. H. Parker, as a sail loft, as well as the fourth floor of No. 
237, adjoining, the two stories were connected by communicating doors at the 
top story. When the alarm was given, four or five women employed in 
assorting rags by Berge & Meyer ran up to the sail loft above and told the men 
employed there that the building was on fire. At this moment the flames were 
seen bursting up the hatchway, and the men directed the girls to an encased 
stairway, leading down to Delaware avenue, by which they made their escape 
in safety. 

When the firemen had gotten the fire sufiiciently under way to enter 
Berge & Meyer's building through the blinding smoke, Foreman William 
Gampher, Firemen William Barrett and Robert Warner found the charred and 
blackened remains of John Myers, foreman for Berge & Meyer, lying among the 
burned debris, at the foot of the stairway leading to the third floor of their 
building. The clothing and both arms and one leg were burned off, and the foot 
of another leg, the stocking upon which was the only means of identification, as 
the head was unrecognizable. The body, which had to be handled carefully to 
prevent its falling apart was conveyed to the morgue. It was stated by a 
gentleman engaged in business on the opposite side of Water street, that when 
the alarm was given to the workmen in the building to fly for their lives, Myers 
was seen to enter the building, and could not be found during the progress of 
the fire. The position in which the body was found would indicate that the 
poor man had made an effort to escape from the building, but was overcome by 
the smoke. 

When the fire was nearly extinguished in 237 and 239 North Water street, 
it was found to have communicated to the rag warehouse of C. S. Garrett & 
Son, who occupied the whole of No. 235 North Water street, where it burned 
stubbornly among such bales as could not be removed, owing to the heat and 
smoke, from the Delaware avenue front. About the time this building caught, a 
miniature explosion, said to result from the bursting of a can of varnish in No. 
233, occupied by George Chipman & Son, wholesale and retail dealers in chairs 
caused the closed doors and windows of the lower floor to fly open with a loud 

The fire burned stubbornly for two hours, the roof falling in with a loud 
crash, shortly after twelve o'clock, and sending up volumes of flame and smoke. 
The Hayes' ladder of the fire department was eff"ectively used on Delaware 
avenue. Four of the upright ladders placed against the front of the burning 
buildings there caught fire and were partially consumed before they could be 

It was said that the cause of the rapid spread of the flames from 
building to building was owing to the joists over-lapping at the butts thus 
affording an easy means of communication, and the whole block was built in 
this manner. During the progress of the fire several members of the fire 
department were overcome by the smoke and had to be carried to stores in the 
vicinity, where they remained until sufficiently recovered to resume their work 





Furniture, Bedding, Carpets, Dry Goods, Ladies' 

Coats, Hosiery and Underwear, Lace Curtains, 

Counterpanes, Quilts, Blankets, Watches, 

Jewelry, Silverware, Chinaware, Boots 

and Shoes, Clothing, Fancy Goods, 

House Furnishing Goods, vStoves, 

Clocks, Etc., Etc., Etc. 



TERMS : — We sell on credit to all trustworthy housekeepers, they 

paying a small amount down at the time of purchase. The 

balance can be paid in Weekly or Monthly Payments 

to suit our customers. The payments can be 

made at our Store, sent by mail, or our 

collectors will call at your homes. 



(Adjoining Old Christ Church). 


JOSEPH T. HAMMOND, Inspector, Bureau of Fire. 


The building in which the above fire occurred was precisely the site of 
Berger & Butz's hay and feed store, in which the great fire of July 9th, 1850, 
originated. This began about four o'clock in the afternoon, and gained great 
headway, despite the most strenuous efforts to prevent it. When the fire reached 
the cellar two explosions occurred, which rent the walls and threw flakes of 
combustible materials in all directions, setting fire to other buildings. Suddenly 
a third and most terrific explosion occurred, which scattered the flames for at 
least a square to the North and West, and caused a frightful loss of life on Water 
street and Delaware avenue, which were crowded with firemen and spectators. 
Nine persons who jumped into the river from fright were drowned; about thirty 
were killed by the explosion outright, and about one hundred were injured. 
Nearly three hundred buildings were destroyed, and the suffering caused was 
very great. The loss of property was estimated at about ^2,000,000. 

On July 23d, 1882, shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon an alarm of 
fire was sounded from the box at Poplar-Street Wharf, followed in quick 
succession by two other alarms. Firemen repaired promptly to the scene, when 
they found the large five-story brick storehouse on the East side of Front 
street, above Brown, enveloped in flames. The first to arrive was No. 21, from 
New Market and Poplar streets, who stationed their engine at the plug on 
Brown street, below Front, immediately in the centre of the side of the building 
and in front of a row of small dwellings on the North side of Brown street. 
They had no sooner got into position than the heat and flames favored by the 
strong North wind drove them from the plug, it being as much as they could do 
to get their apparatus away in safety. Meanwhile the occupants of the dwellings 
who had set about removing their household effects were compelled to flee for 
their lives, leaving their furniture a prey to the flames. The fire then spread 
with great rapidity, communicating on the south with the large four-story brick 
building at Beach and Brown streets, owned by Bernard Corr, and occupied by 
him as a rectifying house and distillery, and spreading to the building of Frank 
Fox, druggist, at the Northeast corner of Front and Brown streets. The piece 
of ground on which the storehouse above mentioned was erected was of an 
irregular triangular shape, bounded on the South by Brown street, on the North 
by Cohocksink creek, on the East by Beach street, and on the West by Front 


The flames were first seen issuing from the frame extension of the 

storehouse, which had been unoccupied for a long time, and was said to have 

been the daily and nightly resort of tramps, whom the neighbors long feared 

would set it on fire from their habit of smoking pipes amid the inflammable 

surroundings of laths, staves and shingles. The five small dwellings on Brown 

street, at the side of the burning building, were two stories in height, of four 

rooms each, and were occupied as follows: No. 17, by John Morrisey, puddler; 

No. 19 by John Noblack, shoemaker, and No. 21, by John Leonard, puddler. 

No. 13 of this row was unoccupied, and No. 15 had just been moved into by a 

family whose name was not known. Nos. 23 and 25 were two two-story brick 

houses, occupied respectively by Schubert Garrison, laborer, and WiUiam 

Hemm'ings, junk dealer. All of these people lost all of their household efi"ects. 

No. 29 on Brown street, was a three-story single brick house occupied by Jos. 

Belts, who also lost everything. 

f iNE ix^'^ ioTTON Wood Ioxe-s. 


Soda, Seltzer Water, Lager Beer, Sarsaparilla, Ginger Ale, Wine, Cider and Root Beer, 

Shipping Cases, etc. 

437 and 439 North Fifth S. and:444 and 446 York Ave. 


Geo. W. Gormley, 




^Nos. 1 1063-65 f North I Delaware i Avenue,^ 

Philadelphia, Pa. 


«336 and 2338 IVOI^TII FIIOIVT ST[^«K:KT, 


Furniture, Carj^ets, Windoiv Shades, Oil Cloih, 
Stair Bods, Stair Pads and Curtain Poles. 

This House Guarantees all Goods Sold Best Quality, and Rock 
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Remember the name, JOHN MOORE, T ARGE STOCK ! 

and Number 2336 & 2338 N. Front St. Low PRICES ! 


At the Northeast corner of Front and Brown streets was a large four-story 
brick building occupied by Frank Fox as a drugstore on the lower floor, and in 
the upper part as a dwelling; this being next to the burning building and in the 
path of the flames, suffered severely, the roof being burned off, the upper portion 
gutted and the store wrecked. Above the storehouse on Front street, in which 
the Carpenter Ice Company had stored about 2,000 tons of ice the Saturday 
preceding the fire, intending to use it for storage purposes afterwards, was an 
old-fashioned dwelling, also used for storage and office purposes. This was 
completely demolished, only the front and back walls being left standing, the 
side walls falling during the progress of the fire. Adjoining this building on the 
North but separated by a court-way was a comfortable old-style dwelling, owned 
and occupied by the Misses Medara, relatives of ex-Mayor Fox, this was badly 
damaged about the roof, and the furniture was injured by the quantity of water 
necessary to save the house from destruction. In the rear of the dwelling and 
attached to it was a two and a-half story brick warehouse, on the ground floor of 
which was stowed a large quantity of molasses in hogsheads, all of which with 
the building, proved a total loss. On the West side of Front street, the roof of 
the brick building, on the upper corner of Brown street, occupied by Frederick 
Rauschel as a beer saloon, was scorched; the roof of 806, occupied in the lower 
part by Mrs. Lynch as a boarding house, was damaged, as were also the roof 
and upper portion of No. 808, occupied by Joseph Link and one or two other 

At the Northeast corner of Beach and Brown streets, the fire burned out 
the lumber yard of Harry C. Rushton, the stock, consisting of staves, shingles, 
cedar posts and hard lumber, being entirely destroyed, along with an elevator 
and inclined plane used in removing lumber from one place to another in the 
yard. While the fire was at its height, and the base of the triangle enveloped 
in fire, the flames crossed Cohocksink creek, just above the bridge on Beach 
street, and set fire to some piles of lumber in the yard of William M. Fox & 
Brothers, on Poplar street. North of the creek; they were kept from spreading 
until the fire in Rushton's yard and in the surrounding properties was gotten 
under control, when the firemen turned their whole attention to Fox's yard, and 
soon had the fire there well in hand. At the Southeast corner of Front and 
Brown streets was a narrow four-story brick building, occupied by Henry 
lyCtterman, as a cigar store and dwelling, which had its roof burned off and was 
flooded with water. Adjoining on the South, No. 737 North Front street, was 
a spacious three-story brick irfansion of Jos. M. Naglee, an old resident of the 
Northern Liberties; this was slightly damaged about the root and flooded with 
water, but otherwise was not seriously injured. The next house South, No. 729, 
occupied by several families as a tenement house, was injured about the roof, 
but not to any great extent. While the fire covered considerable area of 
territory, the buildings destroyed or injured, with the exception of the storehouse, 
were not of any great value. 

While the fire was at its height the occupants of the small houses in the 
courts and alleys South of Brown street began to hastily remove their furniture, 
believing that nothing could stay the progress of the flames in their direction, 
driven as they were by a stiff breeze. In doing this, much was broken or 


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538 iilB 540 N. THIRD STREET, 




-^jcENeidgF Pe^^riii^NB CEMEp^l^^ 

^os.'^c^hKzyLt' \ f'oi' Sale in Lots to Suit and to Arrive 


Sole Agents and Lmporters, 

Nos. 136 and 138 North Water Street, Philadelphia. 









THE FIRKMKN'S record. 193 

injured, and the loss fell heavily upon a number of poor people. At one time it 
was thought that the large planing mill of A. Wilt & Son would go, as its roof 
was on fire, but the prompt action of the firemen prevented this. The upper 
end of the Delaware avenue market, at Brown street, had to bear the full force 
of the heat from Rush ton's lumber yard, on the other side of Beach street, but 
as it was fire-proof on the outside it successfully resisted with the aid of the 
firemen, the spread of the flames in that direction. While the upper portion of 
Corr's liquor warehouse was in flames, fears were expressed that the building 
could not be saved, in which the fire would have to spread to Coates street, 
as it was the only protection to the large number of frame dwellings, offices 
and stables between it and that street. Notwithstanding the heat of the day 
and the added heat from the flames, the firemen worked manfully and system- 
atically and kept within reasonable bounds what seemed for an hour, would be 
a most destructive conflagration. 

About half-past ten o'clock on Saturday night, July ist, 1882, flames were 
discovered in the rear part of the .second story of M. Thomas & Son's auction 
house, 139 and 141 South Fourth street. The alarm was struck from the box 
at Fourth and Library streets by the policemen of that beat, but before the 
fire engines could be gotten into service the flames had extended to the fifth 
floor, and a second alarm was then sounded. The fire continued to spread 
rapidly and it was feared that a number of the adjoining properties would be 
destroyed, and a general alarm was sent out, in response to which all the 
available apparatus of the department was sent to the grounds. The building of 
M. Thomas & Son was a five story brownstone front and extended from Fourth 
street to Hudson's alley, a distance probably of 200 feet. It soon became 
evident, although eighteen streams were being played on the flames, that the 
building could not be saved, and the efforts of the firemen wore directed towards 
saving the surrounding properties. The contents of the building consisted of 
bedding, furniture, household utensils and articles of various kinds which are 
usually to be found in an auction house awaiting sale, and including quite an 
assortment of miscellaneous merchandise. The fire spread quickly, and soon 
reached the front of the building, which was then burning in all parts. A two 
and a-half story building on the North was occupied by Mr. Gage as a restaurant, 
and that on the South was owned and occupied by Joseph Gatley as a sample 
room and restaurant. From the roofs of both these buildings the firemen 
directed streams upon the burning structure. Just in front the Hayes' Ladder 
was brought into service, aline of hose being run up as high as the fourth story, 
where the firemen directed the .stream. Gatley' s building extended back on 
Harmony court to Nos. 333 and 335, the lower portion of which was occupied by 
Franz Bernhardt as a tailor shop, and the upper portion by S. Zeisse, the 
building was owned by the Thomas estate. 

About eleven o'clock, assistant Engineer Mooney directed a half dozen 
men to cut a hole through the south wall of the auction house, so that the stream 
of water could be put through, but the smoke poured out in such a volume that 
the firemen were compelled to retreat from the roof of 333 and 335 Harmony 
court, upon which they were standing. They had scarcely reached the ground 
when the centre of the south wall of the auction house toppled over, and went 

(Successor to FERD. WEHRLE.) 



{!^.A.Tri!^I^^.A.OTrO]X G^XJA.Xl,^4.IXTli2EI>. 



U/l^olesale ^ Dm00ists, 

No. 319 N. Third Street, 


crashing through the roof of the buildings, 233 and 335, wrecking them 
corapletel}'. The two upper stories of No. 331, occupied by S. Zeisse as a 
scullery, were also torn out by the falling brickwork, as was the upper story of 
the building occupied by Joseph Gatley. After the fall of the wall the flames 
were soon gotten under control by the firemen, although they were not entirely 
extinguished until Sunday morning. 

Several of the buildings comprising the Franklin Sugar Refinery of 
Messrs. Harrison, Havemyer & Co., at the foot of Almond and Bainbridge 
streets, were destroyed by fire on the morning of September 2cth, 1S82, entailing 
a very heavy loss. The refinery consisted of six buildings bounded by Delaware 
avenue on the East. vSwanson and Penn streets on the \Yest, Bainbridge street 
on the North and Almond street on the South, and were connected together by 
a number of iron bridges the burned portion was confined to the structures 
between Delaware avenue, Swanson street, Bainbridge and Almond streets, and 
these were used for the manufacturing of mould and centrifugal sugar, a large 
amount of valuable machinery being necessary for that purpose. The firm had 
been working the refinery day and night on account of heavy orders, and the 
night gang commenced operations on Sunday evening at seven o'clock. Shortly 
before five o'clock in the morning, the fire was first discovered in the three 
story brick building, at the Northwest corner of Delaware avenue and Almond 
street, used as a panning and crushing house, and although an alarm was 
promptly sounded, the flames spread to the nine-story structure adjoining on 
Delaware avenue, and this was soon doomed to destruction. Three alarms were 
ordered in quick succession, and a large force of firemen were soon at the locality, 
reinforced also by the Delaware Harbor Police Tug, but their united efforts 
were successful only in saving the surrounding property North of Bainbridge 
and West of Swanson streets. F'rom the nine-story building the flames soon 
ignited to another, eleven stories in height, in the rear and facing Swanson 
street. This was said to be the highest building in the city at this time, and as 
none of the fire apparatus was capable of throwing a stream to this height, a 
number of sections of hose were carried to the top of the refinery of Messrs. 
E. C. Knight & Co., on the North side of Bainbridge street, facing Delaware 
avenue, and from this position eff'ective service was done in preventing the 
remaining portions of the establishment from igniting. The nine and eleven 
story buildings were each surmounted by large water tanks, and these were 
utilized at the commencement of the fire, but were soon rendered useless. 

About seven o'clock the front wall on Delaware avenuefell to the ground, 
piling up copper stills and other machinery with bricks and timber to the 
height of about twenty feet, and throwing quantities of debris into the dock. 
Several hundred barrels of syrup on Delaware avenue were buried four or five 
feet deep with hot bricks and mortar. Soon afterwards the rear walls of the 
taller building also fell with a tremendous crash, and these were followed by 
part of the wall on the Bainbridge street front, which crushed in a portion of the 
roof of the refinery of E. C. Knight & Co. A bark loaded with sugar, lying in 
one of the docks in front of the burning building, made a narrow escape from 
destruction on account of the intense heat, but it was finally hauled out into 

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Delaware Ave and Arch Street, [PHILADELPHIA. 


The falling of the walls practically placed the fire under control, and 
no further trouble was apprehended, particularlj^ as the wind was from the 
Northeast. Many of the firemen, however, continued in service until late 
in the afternoon, endeavoring to extinguish the smouldering ruins. 

The fine new building, ten stories in height, to the North of the destroyed 
property, escaped entirely, together with the buildings on the West side of 
Swanson street. The light from the burning building was seen a great distance 
and hundreds of persons were attracted to the locality all day. How the fire 
originated remains unknown. Chief Engineer Cantlin, says that the employees 
of the establishment endeavored to extinguish the flames and thus much valuable 
time was lost. 

During the year 1881, the Hayes' Hook-and-Ladder Truck had afi'orded 
such general satisfaction that two more of them were added to the department 
in 1882, and placed in service at truck-houses C and D. 

On January 31st, 1883, about half-past eight o'clock at night. Policeman 
Withrow, of the 20th District, while patroling his beat on Broad street, near 
Vine, discovered a bright light caused by a fire in the second story of Eevi 
Knowles & Co.'s warehouse, Nos. 250 and 252 North Broad street. A hasty 
examination convinced him that the fire had reached such an extent as to 
warrant the sounding of an alarm which he immediately did. When the first 
detachment of engines arrived, the flames had made great headway, and it was 
soon evident that the building was doomed. The firemen battled manfully with 
the flames, but for a time were unsuccessful. From the centre of the building 
on the second floor the fire spread rapidly to the front and rear, and one mass 
of flames enveloped the structure from ground to roof. Shortly after the arrival 
of the campanies answering, a second alarm was sounded. By this time, the 
adjoining structure on the North, No. 254, had taken fire, and like the Knowles' 
building was burned through from front to rear. Streams were played upon the 
burning buildings from Broad street, and from the roofs of small houses on Leeds 
avenue, a narrow thoroughfare in the rear. It seemed that this building, too, 
must go, and the firemen directed their efforts to save the adjoining property 
No. 256. The flames were making rapid headway and their light illumined the 
sky, making the streets almost as bright as day for a square on either side of 
the burning buildings. 

Thirty- two minutes after the first alarm was sounded a third alarm was 
rung. The fire had now extended to No. 256, and in a short time that property 
was almost as badly damaged as its neighbors on the Southern side. The wind 
being from the Southeast it at one time looked as if the fire would eat its way 
to Vine street, but a large four-story brick building on the Southeast corner, 
occupied by E. J. Bryan & Co., stood unscathed during the progress of the fire. 
A large four-story brick buiding on Vine street, standing in the rear of the lot 
of ground fronted by Bryan's building, which was occupied by E. Lathbur}' & 
Co., flour merchants, m^'^s threatened, but escaped with no other injury from 
the fire than the burning of the elevator cupola. In about three hours the fire 
was practically extinguished. In that time it had caused a loss of about 
;gioo,ooo. The upper floors of Knowles &; Co.'s building were used as a 
storage warehouse, and a large amount of household furniture belonging to 




ASSETS, July 1st, 1891, - - $828,521.85 

LIABILITIES, $396,946.80 

JABEZ GATES, President. WILLIAM H. EMHARDT. Secretary and Treasurer. 


Jabez Gates, Henry B. Bruner, Thos. W. Wright, 

Charles W. Otto, Benjamin Allen, M. L. Finckel. 

Edward T. Tyson, John Allen, Daniel B. Ruffner, 

Horatio G. Jones. Charles W. Schaeffer, A. B. Keyser, 

Reuben V. Sallada, Peter B. Hinkle, Wm. D. Dounton. 

The Silsby Manufacturing Company, 

Seneca Falls, N. Y. 



Steam Fire Engine, 

Hose Carriages and Carts, 
.^ Rotary Fire Pumps, ^ 

Steam Heaters, 

Fire Department Supplies. 


Cleaned to hang or drape like new ones. Can be made Ecru. 

•9-<2;:i:& Fancy Covers, Xidles, BiapkiiiN, Kloor I.luens and all HouHelioId 
l3^<aS^ XextureH soiled by ordinary usai^e can t»e Cleaned Equal to Mew. 

A. F. BORNOT, ^^o^'-^'- <i^ ©y^^ 


-v>>BRANCH STORES :<r^- 

1535 Chestnut St., Phila. 113 S. Tenth St., Phila. 1623 Columbia Avenue, Phila, 

716 Market St., Wilmington, Del. Eleventh and G Sts., Washington, D. C. 


different people was stored there. The furniture was insured by the individual 
owners. It, as well as nearly all the contents of the Knowles' building was 
entirely destroyed. 

Nos. 254 and 256 were occupied by several firms. J. Allan & Co., flour 
commission merchants, occupied the first floors of both buildings, and the upper 
floor of No. 254; they had in stock 5,000 barrels of flour which were destroyed. 
E. H. Graham & Co., flour and grain commission merchants, occupied the 
second floor of No 256; they had several hundred barrels of flour stored there. 
Edmund Hill & Co., machinists, occupied the third floor of No. 256. E. W. vSieg- 
man & Co., general agents for the manufacturers of grain-drills, plowshares and 
agricultural implements, occupied the same floor as Hill & Co. The burned 
buildings, Nos. 250, 252, 254, 256, were all three stories in height and of brick. 
They formed practically one continuous building with a total frontage of about 
90 feet on Broad street, running back to a depth of about 170 feet; they were 
owned by the Bushong estate of Reading. The buildings were almost entirely 
destroyed. The buildings on the corner of Broad and Vine streets, occupied by 
J. Bryan & Co., and the Lathbury building on Vine street, were owned by the 
Harrison estate. They were only slightly injured. 

As has already been stated, the fire broke out in the second story of No. 
252, midway of the building. No fire, machinery or combustibles of any kind 
were kept on this floor, indeed, the only fire in the building was in a small 
stove in the office on the first floor front, from which it was impossible the 
conflagration could have originated, as this particular portion of the building 
was the only "part that remained intact and uninjured. The opinion was 
expressed that the fire was the work of an incendiary. In this connection it 
may be interesting to state that about ten days before the fire, a Mr. Siegman 
visited the office of Fire Marshal Wood and Chief Givin, and stated that on 
going to his office that morning, he had found on the floor, a candle stuck upon 
a piece of wood, and surrounded by papers, as if some one had placed them 
there with the intenton of setting the place on fire. He thought that this might 
have been the act of an incendiary, who was taking this means of revenge 
because he (Mr. Siegman) had once been a witness in a case against one of the 
old Reading Hose crowd who congregrated on these corners. 

March i6th, 1883, box 75 was received; caused by the partial burning of 
the woolen mill of M. A. Furbush, Northeast corner of Third and Moore streets, 
after about an hour's battle, the flames were subdued. While answering this 
alarm a most serious and unfortunate accident happened to Joseph T. Hammond, 
one of the Assistant Engineers. He was thrown from his buggy as he was 
driving down Fourth street, and just as he came to the corner of Catherine 
street, the offside arm of the axle broke, and his horse dashed on at a frightful 
pace, and in an effort to save himself, his foot became entangled in the spokes 
and was nearly torn from the leg. He was taken to his home, and after a 
surgical examination his injuries were found to be of such a grave character as 
to necessitate amputation of a portion of the leg. The operation was successfully 

On the evening of September 7th, 1883, between nine and ten o'clock the 
stables of the Chestnut and Walnut Streets Passenger Railway Company, on 




Iron and Stkbl, 


FR- ^- rs/ICDFRT", 



imMOM, IS 


packer of ^eeil beaf ilofiacco. 

N. W. Cor. Third and New Streets, 



Nos. 228 and 230 Bread Street, 

IBetween 2d and 3d, Poutb of Now St.] 

Telephone. No. 286. PHILADELPHIA, PA. 


Sansom street, from Forty-first to Forty-second, together with one of the 
buildings adjoining, were totally destroyed by fire, involving a loss which 
amounted to ^50,000. The fire was first discovered in the Southeastern portion 
of the stable in the hay mow. As the stable was filled with a supply of hay 
intended to last for three months, the fire spread with great rapidity. An alarm 
was sounded at twenty minutes before ten o'clock, and the employees of the 
company at once turned their attention to the rescue of the 270 horses which 
were in the building at the time. Halters were cut and the animals were driven 
into the street and away from the immediate neighborhood of the conflagration. 
So promptly was this work done that all of the horses escaped injury. The fact 
that three of the 'engines answering the first alarm from West Philadelphia 
were engaged elsewhere at the time caused a serious delay, but two other 
alarms followed in quick succession and the firemen were enabled to save the 
depot and the blacksmith and car construction shops. The plant of the West 
Philadelphia Passenger Railway Company occupied all the block between 
Chestnut, Sansom, Forty-first and Forty-second streets; On the Chestnut 
street front, extending the entire block, was a car-shed, at the western end of 
which were the car shops. The stable fronted on Sansom street, and was of 
the same length as the depot, and was about sixty feet from the latter. Fronting 
on Forty-First street was the blacksmith shop. Half way between Forty-First 
and Forty-Second streets was a three-story brick building, used as an engine 
house and feed mill. The stable and the western end of the depot were two 
stories in height and all the buildings were of brick, having been erected in 
1875 and 1876.' 

By the time the firemen were enabled to get fairly at work on the burning 
structure, the fire had gained so much headway that it seemed impossible to 
save even the depot. The properties on the opposite sides of Sansom and 
Forty-Second streets were subjected to an intense heat, and were also in so 
much danger that the attention of the firemen was necessarily much divided. In 
the meantime the Company's employees were busily at work removing to places 
of safety all the portable property which had not yet been reached by the flames. 
The storehouse and shops were quickly emptied, and the cars in the depot were 
drawn out and left standing in Chestnut street, out of reach of danger. From 
the stable the flames reached the engine-house, but by vigorous efforts on the 
part of the firemen were prevented from extending to any other of the buildings. 
Within half an hour the stable and the structure last mentioned were completely 
destroyed. The mass of hay and other inflammable matter in the ruins continued 
to burn fiercely, and large quantities of sparks were wafted upward over the 
broad roof of the car shed until a late hour. 

In addition to the horses which were rescued, the stable contained about 
about 300 tons of hay and a lot of harness and other property of more or less 
value, was burned. In the engine house and feed mill were stored about 500 
bushels of corn. The machinery consisted of a sixty -horse power steam-engine, 
two boilers, each six feet in diameter by twelve feet long, and three sets of 
burrs, four feet in diameter, together with grain elevator, etc. These were said 
to have cost $25,000. In the yard, between the stable and depot, were a 
number of carts and wagons. The employees succeeded in removing two of 

C. C. Knight. 

E. \V. Knight. 


Ifoi} aifd Sled MQrc^l:?^ 

Nos. 301 and 303 N. Second Street, 

I I 

Corner ok vine. 


Allen Shoemaker, Proprietor. 

Wm. K. Shoemaker, Manager 

ENErteE^Fio eiL oepPi^NY, 

iiiiiiifM ^ mill 

i^# 111" 


Engineers' and Machinists' Supplies. 





220-222 SOUTH FIFTH ST., 





Wrought Iron Pipe, 

Boiler Tubes, 

Artesian Well Tubing and Casing 

Brass and Iron Valves and Cocks, 
Cast and Malleable Iron Fittings, 
Engineers' and Machinists' Tools. 




the most valuable, but four or five were caught by the flames. The properties 
on Sansom street, between Forty-first and Forty-second, suflfered to some 
extent. That at Fortj'-second and Sansom streets, occupied by James Murphy; 
was somewhat scorched, windows were broken and damage by water was done 
to the amount of perhaps $300. The rear fences of two Walnut street 
properties were burned, and the residence of Bradbury Bedell, at Forty-First 
street corner also suffered. The houses on Forty-Second street escaped with 
trifling loss. While the fire was in progress the horses which had been turned 
loose were scattered far and wide, little attention being paid to the direction 
they took. Many of them were driven to Woodland avenue and thence to the 
depot by the Philadelphia and Darby branch of the road. The hostlers were 
occupied nearly all night in hunting up the wandering animals. 

During the year 1883, the force of Assistant Engineers was increased by 
the appointment of Mr. John Humphreys (this went into effect January ist. 
1884). Engine Company No. 29 went into service during this year. There 
were also two new Hayes' Trucks added to the force of the department; one 
being placed at Truck F, and the other was placed in Truck A's house, to take 
the place of the Bank Truck formerly in use. A sub-station was organized and 
located at the House of Correction for the protection of the institution and the 
immediate neighborhood. 

The most valuable half of the chemical works of Powers & Weightman, 
said to be the largest of the kind in America, was destroyed by the fire which 
broke out there between twelve and one o'clock on the morning of February 
29th, 1884, and was not under control of the firemen until after daybreak. The 
flames were not entirely subdued until noon. It was pronounced the most 
stubborn and one of the most threatening fires that the fire department ever 
coped with. The fierce cold from the Northwest continued through the night 
and morning with apparently undiminished velocity, and as the fire started on 
the western side and near the northern end of the building, the wind carried 
destruction to the South and East, making matters worse for the firemen, many 
of them weary, wet and shivering, after hard work at other midnight fires, with 
their clothing as stiff as if made of tin, and with the cold increasing in intensity, 
they were obliged to begin a new struggle from which they got no relief for 
many hours. 

The first alarm was struck at 12.41 by private watchman Cornelius Cook, 
who discovered the fire in the third story of one of the laboratory buildings, 
which extended the entire length of Knox street, a small avenue running from 
Brown to Parrish streets, between Tenth and Eleventh streets. From Knox 
street the laboratory buildings extended east to a passage-way called Kressler 
street, between Knox and Ninth streets. At the southern end, the buildings 
were divided by a cart-way, extending from Brown street North about 310 feet, 
to a building facing on Parrish street. It was from this contracted passage-way 
that the firemen had to fight the flames from the rear, not only to prevent the 
destruction of the laboratory buildings, but also to keep the flames from leaping 
across to the buildings fronting on Ninth street, which completed the rectangle 
formed by the works, bounded on the North by Parrish street. South by Brown 
street. East by Ninth street, and West by Knox street. Had they not saved 




oO o 
o Oo 

o Oo 







• ;jSb- :,Sk- .* jSb • vjSb • ; ,av ♦ ;,iib . ;,Sb. '^sai • ;,»■• '.sb « vjHb - ;,sb • >iSi» ;,«■• i;,a 


WILLIAM HAGENSWILER, Superintendent of Horses. 


the Ninth street buildings, it is believed that the flames would have extended 
to the dwellings on the East side of that street— unusually wide as it is at that 
point — and the wintry gale might have caused far more disastrous results. 

The point on Knox street where the fire broke out was about one-third of 
the distance from Parrish street to Brown street, it was known that not only in 
that part of the building, but also in other buildings, great quantities of highly 
inflammable materials were stored. Peruvian bark formed the most valuable 
part of the stock in the vicinity where the fire started. It was feared that when 
the flames reached the stores of fusal oil not far away there might be an 
explosion; therefore, after the flames first appeared and the dense volumes of 
smoke from the burning drugs began to roll out of the windows into Knox 
street, the residents on the West side of that street hastened to find safer 
quarters, and many of them undertook to remove the more valuable of their 
household effects. 

The people in Parrish street and other thoroughfares, to whose dwellings 
Knox street residents fled for safety and shelter, were hardly less apprehensive 
than those they took in had been. The smoke and flames issuing from the 
windows gave the firemen to understand that they would have dangerous and 
difficult work in using their ladders. Up to half-past one o'clock, they hoped 
they would be able to keep the fire within a very limited space, as the working 
room and warehouse buildings were separated from the adjoining structures 
where the fire originated by a heavy blank wall. But this only prevented a 
spread to the North and Northeast. 

When the fire fed by the vast stores of bark, quinine and fusal oil began 
to eat its way South, along the main building toward Brown street, and East in 
the direction of Ninth street, a general alarm was struck. The firemen then 
turned their attention to the Brown street end of the building, and their energy 
on the Ninth street side was redoubled. The air to the East was filled with 
sparks. Reports came from Second street, that embers were carried that far. 
The shower of fire fell upon houses for squares around, but the general 
prevalence of tin roofs in that locality prevented any new fires. The fright that 
had been manifested among the Knox street residents, was now transferred to 
Ninth street. Samuel Austin, an invalid residing in the rear of No. 918 Parrish 
street, died from the shock. Many of the people in Ninth street, abandoned 
their homes without waiting to be fully dressed, carrying children in night 
clothing, and taking such garments as they could get in their hurry. The people 
in the more favored localities, opened their doors, not only to the fugitives, but 
also to the firemen and others whose business brought them to the scene, and 
who were frequently forced to seek places to warm themselves. Some of the 
neighbors kept hot coftee in readiness constantly for the suffering firemen. 
When at three o'clock, the firemen saw that they could not save the laboratory 
buildings, they increased the number of streams of water directed upon 
surrounding dwellings. This produced sheets of ice on the roofs which afforded 
protection to the property. Firemen were in constant fear of explosives, but 
despite this kept at their work with the courage and zeal that is characteristic 
of the firemen of this city. At last three explosions came in rapid succession, 
supposed to have been caused by the fusal oil. They increased the excitement, 




Parlor Suits, Couches, Lounges 
and Matresses. 

store and larerooins, 436 N. 4tli St., 

Factory, 403 Willow Street. PHILADELPHIA. 

Re-Upholsterlng in all its Branches. 

All Goods Sold as Represented. 

k: e: L- i_>^ '^ 



at the Leading and Ctieapest Credit Jloiise up town. The only Credit House 

which sells goods at Cosh Prices. Clothing Furniture, Carpets, Rugs, Hats, 

Caps, Boots, Shoes, Clocks, Jewelry, Stoves. House Furnishing Goods, &c. 

Bring your account books from other stores — we will open an account 

with you. Save time and money by buying from us. Our stock is 

always fresh and reliable, and cheaper by 25 to 40 per cent. 

than any other Credit House. 

Nos. 2328 and 2330 NORTH FRONT STREET. 

^French Slazed Denpla Kid.^ 




431-433-435 North Third Street, 
Philadelphia, ... Pennsylvania. 


and the work of the police was rendered more difficult. Lieutenant Edgar of 
the Eighth district, having found his force inadequate, had brought the reserves 
of the vSixth, Ninth and Tenth Districts to his assistance. The work to which 
the policemen chiefly devoted themselves was the allaying of fear among the 
residents. They had not much trouble in keeping the crowds back from the 
burning building. The apprehended explosion did that. 

At four o'clock the Knox street walls bulged to such an extent that no 
one was permitted to go into that street, and the firemen were compelled to 
get on the roofs of the houses on the Western side in order to turn their hose 
upon the blading buildings. At half-past three o'clock, the carpenter shop at 
the southern end of the laboratory building was in flames. Half an hour later 
the wall began to give way and care was taken to keep the street clear. The 
total destruction of the carpenter shop was rapid. The fire next communicated 
across an alley to the five-story brick building on the East, known as the 
chemical department, containing much combustible material. By five o'clock 
this building, too, was destroyed, and the efforts of the almost benumbed and 
exhausted firemen, were directed to prevent the flames from leaping across 
Kessler street, to the large triangular building at the Southeast corner of Ninth 
and Brown streets, which was said to be almost filled with car-boys of acids. The 
fire was conquered, however, before it could reach this building. The other 
portions of the works that were saved were the Parrish street end which 
contained the counting-rooms, and the Ninth street buildings. Part of the Knox 
street wall fell and damaged the front of the house, No. 806, on the opposite 
side of the street. 

The origin of the fire, which was first discovered in the third story in 
what was known as the grinding mill, has never been ascertained. The firm 
had no knowledge of its cause, and no theory to advance respecting it, though 
it may have resulted from a smouldering spark, elicited from a nail in the bark. 
When first seen by the watchman, the fire was not regarded as of sufficient 
magnitude to call for the aid of the fire department, and measures were at once 
taken to suppress it with appliances belonging to the establishment; that is one 
of the reasons that the fire gained such a headway. The steam pump was set 
to work, and the water was forced through two lines of hose upon the burning 
mass, which efforts were continued by the men at work while the companies 
were being summoned by those in charge of the mill, until after their arrival. 
When it was seen that this was insufficient, the box was pulled a second time, 
summoning the firemen from a distance, some of them coming from a fire at 
Second street and Lehigh avenue, which occurred only a short time previous. 
The firm speak in terms of warm praise of the promptness of the department, 
and of the efficient service rendered by them in spite of the severe cold and 
fierce winds. 

It may be mentioned, as a coincidence, that on the morning of the same 
day, February 29th, 1868, sixteen years previous to the time above mentioned, 
the same building of the same establishment met a similar fate. The following 
extract taken from the Pud/t'c Ledger of March 2d, of that year will be interesting 
reading in view of the account just given : 

''A portion of the extensive laboratory of Messrs. Powers & Weightman, 



German Silver, Copper, Zinc and Galvanized Iron Lined 

41- BATH TUBSi^ 


S. K. Corner 7th and Morris Streets, 


WM. T. WATERS. Established 1842. HARVEY FRETZ. 

Steam Broom and Whisk Works, 





Wooden Ware, Broom Handles, Broom Corn, 

Wire, Twine, Cordage, Etc. 


Homer, LeBoutillier & Co. 

1412 & 1414 CHESTNUT STREET, 




Skilled labor on Furniture and Draperies. All Work Guaranteed. 


at Ninth and Brown streets, was destroyed by fire about seven o'clock on 
Saturday morning. The entire structure extends on Ninth street, from Brown 
to Parrish streets and on Brown street from Ninth to Palm. The fire was caused 
by tlie explosion of an alcohol tank, located at the corner of Brown and Palm 
streets. The noise of the explosion was not very loud, but its force was sufficient 
to blow out a portion of the wall, and instantly the building caught fire, and the 
the flames, in consequence of the large quantity of inflammable material in the 
establishment, spreading very rapidly, and in a short time a portion of the high 
wall on Brown street fell to the ground. The building was entirely destroyed 
to the extent of 150 feet back from Brown street, together with a large stock of 
chemicals, machinery, etc. A row of three-story buildings on the West side of 
Palm street, occupied by employees of the establishment, were slightly damaged 
by fire and much injured by water. The furniture in them was removed in a 
damaged condition. A large lot of lumber in the rear of the carpenter shop at 
Brown and Palm street took fire and continued to burn during the entire day 
and night, making it necessary for several of the companies to continue in service 
until yesterday morning. The firemen deserve great credit for their energy and 
skill in checking the flames at the time they did, saving a large amount of the 
surrrounding property as well as the portion of the laboratory in which the 
offices were located, and where the most costly medicines and chemicals were 
stored in large quantities. At the time of the explosion several persons were in 
the room in which the tank was located, and some of them were slightly injured. 
Mr. Funk, one of the party, was severely scalded about the face and arms. The 
residents in the vicinity of the fire, as well as those for several squares around, 
deserve thanks for supplying the firemen with coffee and food, the coldness 
of the weather making the offer very acceptable. During yesterday, a large 
number of persons visited the scene of the fire. Workmen were also busily 
removing the lumber that had been only partially burned. Powers & Weight- 
man's laboratory is one of the oldest in the country, its founder being Mr. John 
Farr, an English chemist, who was the first in the United States to commence 
making quinine. At the death of Mr. Farr, twenty-one years ago yesterday, 
Messrs. Powers & Weightman assumed entire control of the business." 

On Saturday evening, March 15th, 1S84. fire was discovered in the second 
story of the large five-story building, covering Nos. 105, 107, 109 and iii Bread 
street, owned and then occupied by A. Colburn & Co., as a spice manufactory. 
By the time the firemen reached the scene the smoke had burst out the windows 
accompanied by blinding flames, which together with the narrowness of the 
street in front greatly retarded their operations, The fire soon presented such a 
threatening appearance that it was deemed necessary to send out a second and 
then a third alarm, and by additional aid rendered by the subsequently called 
fire companies the fire was confined to the building in which it originated. On 
the north side of the spice factory was a narrow court, called Mineral place, in 
which were half a dozen small dwelling houses. These were in great danger of 
being burned, and the occupants hastily vacated them, a very sick woman and 
a blind woman being taken out by firemen; but beyond a severe scorching 
of the front woodwork and a complete drenching of the interior, they escaped 
damage. During the progress of the fire, William McGinley, fireman of Engine 
















Above Diamond. PHII^ADELPHIA, PA. 


Dry Goods^ Men's Furnishings, Millinery, Cloaks, &c. 

3932, 3934 and 3936 Lancaster Avenue. 

When You Reach This Page Stop and Read the Advertisement of 

A. WEIL, 2148 N. FRONT ST. 

Where Will always be found the Choicest, Newest Selections of Dry 

Goods, Notions, Ladies' and Gent's Furnishing Goods, 

at the Prices Lowest. 


No. 6, fell from a ladder and received a fracture of the wrist and other injuries. 
The burned building had a front on Bread street of 72 feet, extending East by 
an ly a distance of 100 feet, where it was joined by a bridge at the second story 
with the salesmen's room of the firm, no North second street. The factory 
with all its contents, including valuable machinery, was totally destroyed. 

Fire broke out in the large furniture factory of Clark Bros. & Co., Nos. 
239, 241 and 243 E'^vant street shortly before three o'clock on the morning of 
December loth, 1884, and resulted in the total destruction of the place and 
considerable damage to the neighboring properties. The factory building was 
E shaped, having a frontage of 40 feet on Eevant street, and running eastward 
from Second street to the depth of 130 feet, the short arm, 35x65, running 
northward. The main building was six stories high, and the rear building five 
stories. In the angle were situated the boiler house, lumber sheds and a two- 
story office building, 40x20, the latter fronting on Eevant street. The fire 
started in the engine room in the rear part of the factory which was cut oflF from 
the boiler house by iron doors. The buildings belonged to the Bailey estate, 
and were valued at $25,000. The furniture factory was running at full capacity, 
employing about 200 men and boys, and there was in the building, lumber, stock 
in course of construction, etc., valued at from $50,000 to $60,000, and machinery 
and engines valued at from $20,000 to $25,000, all of which was entirely 

The flames spread so rapidly that a second alarm was sounded at 3.05, 
directly aftei the arrival of the companies that answered on the first alarm, and 
another shortly after the second. Soon after the third alarm, the south 
wall of the factory fell outward and crushed tenement houses, already on fire, 
fronting on Fairbanks place, a small thoroughfare running along the South side 
of the factory. These buildings belonged to Albert E. Conway, and were 
tenanted by people who lost nearly all their effects, having very little time to 
save anything between the time of their taking fire and the falling of the wall. 
Some of them had barely time to escape with their lives. Almost immediately 
after the west wall fell outward into Eevant street, Assistant Foreman Kugler, 
of Engine Company No. 11, was struck in the head with a brick and stunned, 
buc not seriously injured. Foreman McGehan, of Engine Company No. 17, was 
struck in the head by a board, but was not incapacitated for duty. John Tobalt, 
a boy eight years old, living at No, 257 South Second street, had his leg broken 
by a falling brick, and was taken to the Pennsylvania Hospital. A portion of 
the falling wall also fell on a small house in the rear of No. 248 South Second 
street, occupied by a family named Kossengarten, crushing it and imprisoning 
a thirteen-year old boy of the family. When rescued by some firemen, he was 
found to have sustained only a slight wound on the forehead. The falling walls 
communicated fire to the surrounding properties, and at 4.38 a general alarm 
was sounded, summoning all companies not otherwise engaged, and at about 
six o'clock the fire was under control. 

Eockwood & Hall's refrigerator manufactory, No. 235 Eevant street. 
North of the furniture factory, was slightly damaged, and the building at No. 249 
Eevant street, occupied by E. Morris & Co., hat manufacturers, was slightly 
damaged by the fire. Opposite the burned factory on Eevant street, Clark Bros. 

No. 2258 N. FRONT STREET. 

Below Dauphin Street, PHILADELPHIA, PA 

AT KET.%11. 

All Goeds throughout the house are marked in plain figures at the lowest fixed prices. 
Five Salesrooms. Elevator to all Floors. 

Northeast Corner Eleventh and Market Streets. 


S. E. Cor. Eighth & Vine Sts., 





— s^LACER BEER.^ — 




Sole Manufacturers of CROWN AND MERINO WOOL OILS. 


& Co., had a large warehouse, which, however, escaped, the only damage 
being the breaking of the cellar door by the falling of the wall, and the 
depositing of a large quantity of bricks in the cellar. Several establishments 
then doing business on South Second street sustained damages from falling 
walls, fire and water. Thos. M. Thompson, Sons & Co., upholsterers. No. 240 
South Second street, whose building almost touches the furniture factory in the 
rear, escaped without any damage except the inconvenience caused by being 
compelled to remove the goods from the cellar, in which there was several feet 
of water. 

Baxter C. Swan, Nos. 244 and 246 South Second street, manufacturer of 
fine furniture was damaged to the extent of several thousand dollars, the falling 
wall having broken through his roof, which was slightly burned, affording an 
opening for a large volume of water, which did the greatest damage. In No. 
250 South Second street, occupied as a boarding house and millinery store, 
there was some damage to carpets by water. The roof of Nos. 257 and 259 
South Second street was partly burned, and the stock of B. J. C. Toboldt, 
druggist, damaged by water to the extent of $2,000, Alfred Bonsall's jewelry 
store. No. 258 South Second street was flooded but not much damaged. The 
roof of the rear part of R. W. P. Goff's four-story furniture establishment, Nos. 
262 and 264 South Second street, was burned off. Fr. Schuenemann's confec- 
tionery establishment; at No. 266 South Second street, sustained damage to the 
roof. The stock in E, Brooks' bedding store, in the lower floor of No. 260 
South Second street, and the household goods of Mrs. Elverson, who occupied 
the upper floors as a boarding house were damaged to the extent of over $1,000 
by water. 

The Board of Fire Commissioners in the year of 1884 consisted of Jacob 
Eoudenslager, president, Blaney Harvey, Samuel B. Gilpin, Edward Furlong, 
WiUiam F. McCully. George Roney and Joseph S. Robinson. One additional 
engine company (No. 30) was organized and located at 3546 Germantown avenue 
during the year. 

On March ist, 1884, Assistant Engineer Joseph T. Hammond having been 
rendered unfit for active duty by the loss of his leg while in line of duty, March 
i6th, 1883, was appointed Inspector, January ist, 1884, by a special act of the 
Councils. He is not on the pay roll of the fire department, but is paid by a 
special appropriation. 

Chestnut street, between Second and Eetitia streets, on February 19th, 
1885, was the scene of a fire which almost completely destroyed five large 
business houses on the North side of the way, and which also extended to other 
houses on Second and Letitia streets. One person was killed outright, and 
another, a member of the fire department, was seriously injured. The first 
alarm was struck from Box 63, at Front and Chestnut streets, shortly after nine 
o'clock in the morning. This was followed a few minutes later by another 
alarm from the same box, and at five minutes of ten o'clock by still another. At 
twenty minutes after ten o'clock the fire had assumed such proportions that a 
a fourth alarm was found necessary, and in answer to this nearly all of the 
engines and trucks within the city limits were called to the scene. So far as 
could be ascertained the fire started in one of two rooms occupied by Dumee, 

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Son & Co., cotton brokers, for the storage of samples on the third floor of the 
building owned by D. M. Chambers at 125 Chestnut street. This building 
adjoined the Corn Exchange National Bank and was occupied by a number of 
parties. The first floor was tenanted by Stephenson & Co., dealers in cotton 
and worsted yarns, and by Richard A. Ely the, who was engaged in the same 
business. Dumee, Son & Co. had their office on the second floor front, 
as had also Kershaw & Kelly, dealers in manufacturers' supplies and 
machinery. R. Garsed, dealer in wool and cotton manufactures, was located 
on the same floor back, and adjoining his office was that of Brierly, Wall & Co., 
wool brokers. Getz & Stratton, manufacturers' agents, occupied a portion of 
the third floor, two other rooms on the same floor being used by Dumee, Son, 
& Co., as before stated. 

How the fire started could never be learned definitely. There were 
several theories advanced as to the cause, one of which was that it resulted from 
the use of some sort of gas machine, this, however, has never been verified. 
One of the occupants of the building stated that there was no stove in either of 
the sample rooms. A stove-pipe ran up through them, he said, and probably 
had resting against it some cotton, which took fire. 

When the flames were first discovered, it was thought that the services 
of the fire department would not be necessary, and efi'orts were made to check 
the progress of the fire by the use of hand grenades. An office boy was 
dispatched for an officer, however, and notified Reserve Bechtel. who was 
standing at the corner of Second and Chestnut streets, who immediately struck 
the first alarm. In the meantime the grenades were used, but without much 
success. The fire spread rapidly, and the smoke thickened so that the occupants 
of the upper floors were obliged to retire. Preparations were made by the 
parties on the first and second floors to vacate the premises, and books and 
valuable documents were carried out. Parties on the first floor began the work 
of removing a small safe, said to belong to Mr. Blythe, and managed to get it 
upon the pavement when a loud report like that of an explosion was heard, and 
the front of the building above the third floors fell to the street. There were a 
number of people upon the street at the time, and Hose Cart No. 22, of the fire 
department, had just stopped in front of the building preparatory to making 
a turn. The wall fell in the vicinity of the safe, a part of it coming in 
contact with it, and being broken thereby. Most of those standing about 
managed to escape the falling bricks, but Robert H. Marshall, aged 27 years, 
residing at 716 Swanson street, was struck and killed instantly. Officer Burke, 
of the Fourth District, who was standing near Marshall, was also struck by 
several bricks, but was not seriously injured. His hat was knocked from 
his head. The driver of the hose cart, John McCourt, who resided at 112 
Catherine street, was shouted to in the hope that he could drive out of the way 
before the bricks reached him. but he was unable to do so, and received severe 
injuries. He then was placed in a patrol wagon and taken home. Marshall's 
body was taken from the debris by Reserves Bechtel and Buchar as soon as 
possible, and not being recognized, was transferred to the morgue. It afterwards 
appeared that he was employed as a drayman by Peter McGarritee, and had a 
wife and child. The hose cart driven by McCourt was badly damaged, and the 
horse attached to it had its legs broken and was shot. 




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Principal Office, Broad and Cliestnut Streets, 


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402 Chestnut Street. 
Broad Street Station, 
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Engelside Station, 

Kensington Depot, 
Market Street Wharf, 
North Penn. Jnnction, 

Ridge Avenue Station, 
334 North Third Street. 
1110 South Broad Street, 
1114 South Fifth Street, 
1207 North Second Street, 
1913 Ridge Avenue, 
3962 Market Street. 

General Commission IVIerchant 

and Wiiolesaie Dealer in 

Flour, Feed, Grain, Hay and Straw, 

S. W. Corner 

N. B. — Storage. 

and Cumberland Streets, 



At the time of the explosion the fire was confined to the building in which 
it originated. There were then on the second floor six or seven men, including 
Messrs. Kelly, Kershaw, Shattor and James McGlathery of the Royal Insurance 
Company. C. W. BaiHs and J. C. Biddle, of the firm of Biddle & Weiss, were 
also present, having learned of the fire and came armed with hand grenades. 
Mr. Bailis was endeavoring to make tiis way into the third story, when the 
shock of the explosion threw him to the floor. The smoke and flames then 
poured in, and efforts at escaping were once made. A Hayes' Ladder was 
placed against one of the windows from the outside, and in a short while all the 
hands were safely out of the building. The flames continued to spread and not- 
withstanding the efforts of the firemen and of the crew of the police tug William 
S. Stokley, who were early on the scene, they communicated with the building 
adjoining on the East and with three others in rapid succession. They also 
threatened the Corn Exchange Bank and caught the toy and fancy goods house 
of M. Homes & Sons, at 47 South Second street. Dense volumes of black smoke 
poured from the windows on Chestnut street and rolled about the heads of the 
firemen, sometimes hiding them from view. The work of the firemen in raising 
the ladders and working upon the roofs of the buildings was greatly hampered 
at almost every point by the overhead telegraph and telephone wires. The 
flames were fought at almost every point, and special efforts were made to 
prevent them from reaching the buildings on the opposite side'of Chestnut street, 
but they were badly scorched, the one suffering the most damage being at 132, 
owned by G. H. McFadden, No. 130, occupied by William Simpson, Sons, & 
Co., and Nos. 134 and 136 were also scorched. The roof of No. 116, occupied 
by E. H. Coates & Co., and others, caught fire at one time, but the tin was torn 
up and the fire extinguished. It soon became evident that the five buildings on 
the North side of Chestnut street, between the Corn Exchange Bank at the 
corner of Second street, and the building of Randolph & Jenks, numbered T15, 
at the corner of Letitia street, could not be saved. When the flames reached 
the Randolph & Jenks' building, it appeared as if their Eastward course was 
done. Acting upon the experience obtained from a former fire in 1867, Mr. 
Randolph said the western wall had been built double thick and provided with 
metal cornices to meet such an emergency as the present one. The building, 
Mr. Randolph claimed, prevented the fire from extending across Letitia street 
and proceeding down Chestnut street. He said that the wires upon the top of 
the buildings were a dangerous nuisance and would not be allowed to be placed 
there again. Fifty dollars, he thought, would cover the entire loss of the firm. 
A great deal of water was thrown against the building occupied by Joseph H. 
Billington & Co., at 113 Chestnut street, on the opposite side of Letitia street, 
and on freezing, covered it with ice. The damage, however, was trifling. The 
roof of the adjoining building, occupied by William H. Gregg & Co., was 
slightly burned. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the large and substantial four-story brick 
structure, at the Northeast corner of Second and Chestnut streets, the Corn 
Exchange National Bank, immediately abutted upon the building No. 125 
Chestnut street, in which the fire originated, it successfully withstood the fury 
of the flames. President Dell Noblit attributes the saving of the bank to the 

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faithful and ingenious eflforts of the firemen, who opened the tin roof covering 
the rafters of the Stephenson building and poured a heav}^ stream of water just 
where it would do the most good. Several times the roof of the bank caught 
fire, but only a portion of it, about ten feet square, was burned. The woodwork 
of several window frames on the fourth floor of the Chestnut street front was 
scorched, but the damage was trifling. At one time the flames forced an 
entrance into the president and directors' room through the iron shutters which 
were distorted by the intense heat. Prompt application of a stream of water 
checked the progress of the fire in this quarter. Shortly before ten o'clock, all 
the books and valuables of the bank were locked up in the fire-proof vault, and 
business was suspended until 12.30 p. m. At the latter hour it was apparent 
that the danger was over and business was resumed and continued as usual. 
"While the fate of the bank was uncertain. President Noblit received from the 
Fidelity Trust Co., the Philadelphia, the Tradesmen's and other banks and 
brokers generous off"ers of the use of their rooms and other accommodations for 
the temporary transaction of the bank's business, but the officers of the Corn 
Exchange found there was no necessity for accepting the off'ers. 

The premises No. 47 South Second street, a brick building four stories in 
height, having a frontage of 35 feet and a depth of 75 feet, with a two-storied 
addition extending eastward 75 feet, all of which was occupied by H. Homer & 
Son, wholesale dealers in toys and fancy goods, caught on the roof, and despite 
the efibrts of the firemen the entire building was soon a wreck. The roofs 
of the main structure, and the addition, and the side walls succumbed to the 
influence of the intense heat and caved in, leaving only the cracked wall on 
Second street standing. A small portion of the goods in the front part of the 
first floor escaped destruction by fire, but were rendered worthless by the water 
which fell upon them. While the flames were coursing through Homer's 
establishment some alarm was caused by loud reports, apparently produced by 
explosions. , These, it was afterwards learned . were caused by the burning of a 
number of boxes of skyrockets, crackers, and other fireworks stored in the 
upper part of the building. The explosions were attended with no serious 

During the }ear of 1885. Samuel S. Houseman was appointed a member 
of the Board of Fire Commissioners in place of Mr. George Roney. Two more 
engine companies were organized, and located as follows: No. 31, on Second 
street, above Lehigh avenue— this was a valuable addition to the protection 
afforded the manufacturing interests of the 1.9th, 21st and 25th Wards. No. 32, 
on Decatur street, below Market street— which neighborhood had long felt the 
want of an engine company. The city had been expending thousands of dollars 
every year for repairs to apparatus, and Chief Engineer Cantlin had recom- 
mended time and again that a repair shop be established and be run under the 
supervision of the fire department. His recommendation was at last adopted m 
February 1 885 . The shop was located and is at present situated on Race street 
near Broad. Mr. Henry Johnson was appointed superintendent. 

On the morning of December 27th, 1886, about eleven o'clock, a fire 
broke out in the rear portion of the basement of the old Masonic Temple 
building, occupied as the Temple Theatre and Egyptian Musee, which, before 


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it could be subdued, entirely destroyed that structure, and damaged to a 
considerable extent the adjoining properties. About five o'clock in the afternon 
when the flames were regarded as being under control the theatre building, 
extending from Chestnut street through to Jayne street, was completely 
destroyed, the rear walls having fallen into and blocked Jayne street; the roof 
and dining-room of the Washington Hotel, adjoining on the East, were damaged 
by fire and falling walls. The rear portion of the property immediately to the 
West of the theatre was crushed, and the contents of this and other adjacent 
buildings were drenched with water. The fire originated in what was known 
as the "Chamber of Horrors," a department in the basement in which were 
exhibited a variety of waxwork groups, arranged in booths, each separated from 
the other by light partitions, curtains, etc. Manager George C. Brotherton, 
who was summoned as soon as the fire was discovered by one of the guards, 
and who immediately ran to the spot, in the Northwest corner of the basement, 
said that the flames were started in some manner from one of the incandescent 
electric lights, by which the room was illuminated. It had then made X^ery 
little progress, and instant efforts were made to extinguish it. In the meantime, 
however, Assistant Manager Frank Haggerty and Press Agent John E. Sprogle 
reached the scene, and the latter ran to the corner of Seventh and Chestnut 
streets, where at precisely eleven o'clock he caused an alarm to be sounded. 
There was so much inflammable matter in the 'Chamber of Horrors" that, in 
spite of all that was done, the flames crept Southward towards the open elevator 
shaft, near the centre of the building. This acted as a huge chimney, first 
carrying the smoke iip through the building and finally a column of flame. A 
rehearsal of the "Little Tycoon" had just been completed, under the direction 
of William H. Daly, stage manager, and preparations were being made to begin 
a rehearsal of the then new opera, "Phillis." The appearance of smoke soon 
warned the company of their danger, and they were all able to get out by the 
Jayae street door. They even had time to secure and carrj' to places of safety 
their costumes and miscellaneous "properties," and Mr. Daly had presence of 
mind enough to save the music of the two operas. The guards and other 
employees in the building made their exit without much trouble, though the 
smoke on the stairways was so dense that some of them were obliged to creep 
along the floor; Manager Slocum of the Musee was of this number. Five 
persons who were in the work-rooms belonging to the Musee, on the fourth 
floor of the Chestnut street front, had a narrow escape. 

Henry J. EHicott, director of the Musee, was in what he termed, "the 
old work-room," and with him were James Maxwell and Martin Towey, 
laborers, and Mary Donnelly and Maggie Durham, scrub-women. The first 
intimation they had of the fire was when the rooms began to fill with smoke- 
Mr. Ellicott ran to the elevator and rang for the car, but smoke was pouring up 
the shaft and both stairways were in a similar state, rendering egress in that 
way impossible. The women became frantic with terror, and it required the 
utmost exertions on the part of the men to control them. The party were forced 
towards the eastern end of the Chestnut street front, where from the open 
windows they called for help from the crowd below. By that time the firemen 
were on the scene, and the Hayes' Ladder, known as Truck B, was placed in 


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front of the Temple; the ladder was elevated, its top resting upon the sill of the 
fourth-story windows. The escape of the men was then a comparatively easy 
matter, but the women had to be carried by the firemen; the latter performed 
their work with a dexterity that elicited from the watching throng hearty cheers 
of approval. The women were carried into Thompson's Spa, opposite the 
theatre, where they were put to bed and given medical attention. The firemen, 
in the meantime, were working hard to get control of the fire, but the flames 
had made such progress that their task seemed almost hopeless. The smoke 
poured from the basement and from the upper stories at the same time, and in 
equal volume, while the confusion caustd by the crowds of people on the street 
hindered their work perceptibly. At thirty-three minutes after eleven o'clock 
a second alarm of fire was sounded, and by that time the details of police 
arrived, and the streets were cleared of idle spectators. The gue.sts in the 
Washington Hotel began to make preparations for removal, but as the flames 
seemed to be confined to the centre of the theatre building, they were assured 
that there was but little danger, and the majority remained in their rooms or in 
the hotel corridors an hour later. 

Although the fire started in the rear of the Jayne street end of the Temple 
the current of air caused by the open light well and elevator .shafts separating 
the front and back portions, carried the flames to the front, and the rear was the 
last to be engulfed. The rapidity with which the flames spread was illustrated 
by an incident related by Manager Brotherton. When apprised of the fire he 
was engaged in his office, near the Chestnut street front, arranging the money 
taken in on Saturday for deposit in bank. He put a portion of the cash in his 
overcoat pocket and ran into the basement to ascertain the cause of the alarm. 
He was unable to reach the office again, and the balance of the money remained 
just as he had left it to be food for the flames. The additional fire apparatus 
enabled the men to carry the lines of hose up through the window on the fourth 
floor, by which Mr. ElHcott and his companions escaped; also to the roof of the 
four-story granite building adjoining on the West, No. 723, and into the rear; 
the fire worked steadily up through the Musee, which was mainly in the front 
part, and the firemen on the fourth-story floor were soon obliged to beat a hasty 
retreat by means of the Hayes' Ladder into Chestnut street. The falling floors 
began to make work exceedingly dangerous, but the firemen stood to their 
posts. Looking into the theatre from the rear on Jayne street, about this time, 
the firemen seemed to be standing and working in the very midst of the flames; 
the theatre was then untouched. In the basement, in addition to the "Chamber 
of Horrors," already alluded to, were the engine-rooms, store-rooms, etc. The 
ground floor was filled up by the lobby, various offices, dre.ssing-rooms, etc., and 
the two stores, Nos. 713 and 715, to the left of the theatre entrance and occupied 
respectively by E. V. Douglas, Eastern Manager of Niles Tool works, and the 
agencies of the Fairbanks scales and the Remington type-writers. The upper 
floors of the building were occupied on the Jayne street side by the theatre, and 
the front for the purpose of the Musee; the light-well already referred to 
extended the entire width of the lot. For nearly an hour the flames burned 
stubbornly on the Chestnut street front, being fought on all sides, but apparently 

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with little effect. One line of hose was carried into the lobb}', but and 
timber began to fall and there were several narrow escapes. 

About a quarter of one o'clock an extra heavy fall of burning timber 
necessitated the retreat of the firemen; several lines were, however, at that 
time, carried far into the building from the rear. After an interval, one of the 
assistant engineers on duty discovered the flames breaking through the flooring 
in the Fairbanks' store. He directed a group of firemen to carry their hose into 
the store. In order to do this it was necessary to break in the doors which had 
been locked to keep out stragglers. As soon as the glass was broken two or 
three men jumped through, and were followed a few seconds later by others 
dragging the; they had hardly gotten inside when a loud crash was heard, 
and there was a hasty retreat from the doorway. Flames and smoke were then 
issuing from nearly every one of the upper windows and the immediate fall of 
the front was feared. Some of the the upper floors had given way, the portion 
over store No. 715 giving through the lower stories into the basement; the fire- 
men who escaped instantly returned to the doorway saying that .some of their 
comrades were still there; the grating cov^ering the entrance to the basement was 
forced up and efforts were made to find the unfortunate men; the smoke was so 
dense, however, and the mass or debris .so much, that their efforts there werfe 
fruitless. The firemen stated that John Johnson, a ladderman, belonging to 
Truck B, and John Gibson, a hoseman, of Engine Company No. 4, had been 

Following this event came the most exciting moment of the fire's progress 
when the total destruction of the surrounding properties seemed to be beyond 
the power of human agency to prevent; the flames swept up through the east 
half of the Chestnut street front with irresistible force. A column of fire shot 
up into the air and was carried by the wind, which was from the West and 
Northwest, directly over the Washington Hotel. From the street it looked as 
if the place was already doomed. Huge cinders and pieces of burning wood, 
together with large sections of roofing-tin were carried by the wind and rained 
down upon the streets and buildings to the East and Southeast; this shower was 
so dangerous that the crowds on Chestnut street were driven back towards 
Sixth street, and the roofs and cornices of the neighboring structures were seen 
to take fire. Some of these parts and bits of tin were carried several squares to 
the Eastward. There were ready hands, however, to check these incipient 
fires, and the chemical engine belonging to the fire department was especially 

Although the falling of a portion of the wall of the Temple building 
some time previously had broken the skylight forming the dining-room roof of 
the Washington Hotel, and injured the contents of that room, there was no 
general panic among the guests until this flame burst with its attendant shower 
of cinders. Then the boarders hurriedly departed for such .shelter as surrounding 
stores and buildings afforded. Their trunks and a large quantity of other goods 
were carried out, there being plenty of help from Gas Trust employees and 
spectators. The firemen stood their ground nobly upon the roof, though the 
heat was so intense that they fairly scorched. The proprietor of the hotel, Mr. 
Tracy, who had been through the building to see that no one remained in any 

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of the rooms, went up on the roof, but his clothes became so heated that he was 
glad to have a stream of water turned upon him. Fortunately, the fire quickly- 
burned its way through this section of the Temple, and a general falling in of 
the roof and floors determined its limit in this direction. Up to this time the 
theatre, although immediately over the point where the fire originated, was 
untouched; the fire, however, then began to eat its way from below, and the 
increasing smoke showed that in spite of the flood of water which was being 
poured in from above and below, it was by no means under control. A hole was 
cut in the floor of the parquet, in order to enable the water to reach the centre 
of the fire below; this did not have the desired effect, for great masses of smoke 
rolled up through the opening, driving the hosemen out into the open air — the 
fire escape on the rear wall, which had been used to good effect in carrying hose 
into the theatre, was at this time invaluable as a means of escape. A most 
peculiar incident of this fire was that all of the figures in the Musee were 
destroyed with one exception; that was a group of figures representing the 
Crucifixion ! This group was photograped after the fire, and copies were sold 
throughout the United States. 

The flames spread with indescribable rapidity, and the heat was so great 
that the men could no longer work in the narrow street. The tops of the 
buildings on the North side of Jayne street were next occupied as points from 
which to direct the streams of water; these were useless, however, except for 
the protection of the Jayne street houses, which were badly scorched. About 
four o'clock the rear wall of the theatre fell into Jayne street, this also caused 
the fall of some of the west wall near the Jayne street front, which went outward 
and crushed through the roof and third floors of the adjoining property, which 
was occupied on the second and third floors by Hubbard Brothers, publishers, 
who had a large stock of books, and on the first floor by M. H. Eaton, dealer in 
paper. This building extended from Chestnut to Jayne street, being four stories 
high in the front, and three in the rear. The third and fourth floors front were 
occupied respectively by Hector Tyndale Post, No. 160, G. A. R., and W. 
Adams, steel-plate printer. The entire first floor was^rented by Mr. Eaton, with 
the exception of a small portion used as an ofiice for the Southern Pacific 
Railway and other transportation lines. Although the flames raged in the 
interior of the ruins, the fall of the walls practically ended the fire. The 
firemen's work was not ended, however, until far into the night. At six o'clock 
in the evening, some of the fire companies were relieved from duty, but streams 
of water were directed upon the fire from all sides. At about twenty minutes 
of six o'clock a large arch of masonry, which separated the theatre proper from 
the Musee, fell into the midst of the burning building, carrying with it a 
a quantity of flooring. The Washington Hotel was badly shaken from top to 
bottom by the falling wall, and the crash which followed was so loud as to lead 
to the belief, by those who did not see the occurrence, that the front of the 
theatre had fallen in, as the latter was thought to be very weak. The Wash- 
ington Hotel, which adjoined the Temple Theatre on the East, was in great 
danger when the fire was at its height. There were about 140 guests and sixty 
employees in the hotel when the fire broke out, and as soon as the danger 
became apparent the employees formed a bucket brigade, under the direction 


of the proprietor, John Tracy, and the roof and cornices were kept wet. Mr. 
Tracy assured the guests, many of whom became frightened, that there was no 
immediate danger, and until dinner time there was but little excitement among 
them. Many of the guests occupying rooms on the theatre side of the building, 
however, took the precaution to remove their trunks and goods into the office 
on the first floor, and some of them removed their possessions at once to 
neighboring hotels. Dinner was prepared as usual, but it soon became evident 
that the dining-room being a one-storj'^ structure, back of the office of the hotel 
and adjoining the eastern wall of theatre, was probably the most dangerous 
place in which to remain. In a short while the room began to fill with smoke, 
and those who were seated at the table were driven out. The smoke increased 
and the waiters hurriedly gathered all of the table-ware together and hastened 
with it to the front part of the house. 

At this time it was discovered that the dining-room was on fire, together" 
with the four-story back building extending to Jayne street, used as a kitchen. 
In this building, the dimensions of which were 50 x 20 feet, the employees of 
the hotel had their quarters; here the dining-room was about 20 feet wide and 
100 feet deep. Hose was soon run through the entrance of the hotel on Chestnut 
street into this room, and holes were cut through the wall, so that the water 
could be thrown, not only upon the flames in the room but upon the burning 
mass in the theatre. At the same time the hose was directed upon the fire, 
which had obtained a foothold on the roof of the hotel kitchen, and this was 
soon gotten under control. In a short while the danger of the fire spreading 
from the dining-room was over, and the firemen worked from their positions in 
and on the hotel buildings to keep the flames confined to the building in which 
they originated. The wind drove the smoke, sparks and cinders over the hotel 
building, and at times they flew in a Southwesterly direction for many squares. 
This occasioned some alarm among the occupauts of the buildings on Chestnut 
street, as far East as Sixth street. Men appeared upon the roofs of buildings, 
some out of curiosity and some with water buckets. Hose was also got ready 
inside of many of the buildings, but the occasion to use them was past, as the 
fire at this time was completely under control. 


In 1802, the G''and Lodge occupied their new quarters, No. 814 Filbert 
street, called the Pennsylvania Freemasons' Hall. Previous to this date, they 
had been meeting in one of the rooms of Independence Hall, and before that in 
the Free Quaker Meeting House (Apprentices' Library), at the Southwest 
corner of Fifth and Arch streets. The members of the Grand Lodge became 
dissatisfied with the "inconvenience and inelegance" of the hall on Filbert 
street, and it was determined to sell it and purchase a lot or building in the 
central part of the city. On December 7th, 1807, a committee appointed for the 
purpose reported that they had purchased a lot of ground on the North side of 
Chestnut street, between Seventh and Eighth streets, containing in front on 
Chestnut street, loi feet, 8 inches, and in depth, 178 feet, from William Wain, 
for a ground rent of $850 per annum, with the privilege of extinguishing the 
ground rent at any time; the old hall on Filbert street was sold for $4,500, the 



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Grand Lodge having the privilege to retain possession of it until they removed 
to the new one. A handsome and convenient building, of the Gothic order of 
architecture, 82 feet front and 69 feet deep, was erected at a distance of 50 feet 
from a wall, surmounted b)'- railings, and a gateway, which came out to the line 
of Chestnut street. A wooden steeple, 180 feet high, rose from the centre of 
the roof of the new building. This was the tenth place of meeting of the Free 
Masons of Philadelphia. The corner-stone was laid on April 17th, 1809, and 
the building pushed forward as fast as the finances of the Grand Lodge would 
permit, and the dedication took place on June 24th, 181 1. The total cost of the 
building was $86,980.12, as follows: Cost of ground, $14,166.67; cost of 
building, 1^67,850.67; furniture and other expenses, $4,962.78. It is claimed that 
the first Sunday School established in this city met in this hall in 181 6, as the 
Masonic Adult School. On March 9th, 181 9, while the lower hall was being 
used by a dancing party and Washington Lodge, No. 59, was holding its stated 
meeting in the Grand Lodge Room, in the second story, a fire originated from a 
gas jet in the ball-room, destroying in a few hours the beautiful hall; the loss to 
the fraternity was great. All the old books and papers, historical data, etc., of 
the Grand and Subordinate Lodges, with but few exceptions were destroyed. 
Those who were present described the fire as very impressive; the elegant 
steeple, when half consumed, broke in two and added its share to the flames. 
At a meeting of the brethren, March nth, 1819, it was resolved to rebuild the 
hall at once. The managers of the different theatres in this city and elsewhere 
offered the Grand Lodge the proceeds of benefits to be given at their different 
places of amusement. During the time required in rebuilding, the old hall on 
Filbert street was again occupied for Masonic purposes. It was resolved to finish 
the interior of the new hall in a neat and plain manner, but the steeple was not 
to be rebuilt. An additional building was erected in the rear of a refreshment 
room. An apparatus was also erected to supply the new hall with carburetted 
hydrogen gas made of rosin — this, it is believed, was the first gas used for 
illuminating purposes in the city. On September 1st, 1820, eighteen months after 
the fire, the new hall was dedicated with the customary ceremonies. The cost 
of rebuilding the hall, the additional house in the rear and the gas-house was 
$55,333.05. About 1827, the Anti-Masonic movement began, and afterwards 
swept over the entire country. This hostile movement caused such financial 
loss to the craft that the hall was sold to the Franklin Institute for $110,550, 
and Washington Hall, on Third street, above Spruce, was purchased in June 
1835 for ;^25,ooo. Here the Grand Lodge remained for a number of years. In 
1841, the Franklin Institute, the purchasers of the Chestnut street hall, not 
being able to make their payments as agreed upon, transferred to the Grand 
Lodge all their right, title and interest in the property. Owing to the great 
increase of membership, Washington Hall was found to be inadequate for the 
purposes intended. The old hall on Chestnut street for many years had been 
used as a place of amusement; the character of the entertainment there was not 
satisfactory to the Grand Lodge; and in June 1851, a committee of the Grand 
Lodge reported that the Chestnut street hall also was not large enough for the 
purposes. It was accordingly resolved to erect a new hall on the Chestnut 
street lot, the building to be of Gothic architecture and of brown stone. The 



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old building was torn down, and the structure destroyed December 27th, 1886, 
took its place. The corner-stone was laid on November 21st, 1853, and the 
building was dedicated on September 26th, 1855, the total cost of the hall was 
$183,328.03, as follows: Cost of building, ^131,514.13; furnishing, $39,294.10; 
incidentals, dedication, etc., $12,519.80. On St. John's Day, June 24th 1868, 
the corner-stone of the new Masonic Temple at Broad and Filbert streets, was 
laid, and the building dedicated on September 26th, 1873, the 87th anniversary 
of the independence of the Grand Lodge, until which time the hall on Chestnut 
street was used and occupied by the Masons. 

It was in the summer of 1882 that the Chestnut street property was sold 
to Wm. M. Singerly, proprietor of the Record, for ^225,000. After securing 
possession of the hall, Mr. Singerly began making the alterations necessary to 
transform it into the Temple Theatre, in this and subsequent alterations he 
expended about $175,000; the exterior was greatly changed in appearance and 
the facihties of access to the auditorium on the second floor greatly enlarged; 
the building was painted white on the Chestnut street front, with blue and gold 
ornaments. After these alterations were completed, the theatre was thrown 
open for inspection by invited guests, on September 12th, 1885. Excepting the 
Academy of Music, the Temple Theatre had it is said the largest seating capacity 
of any similar place of amusement in the city. On the first floor there were 750 
chairs, of which 340 were in the orchestra, and in all there were 2,200 seats. In 
richness of fittings and elegance of design it is said not to have been surpassed 
by any theatre in the country. Imposing staircases led to each floor, and means 
for almost instantaneous emptying of the house were provided. The balcony 
and gallery were supported from above, thus leaving the first floor free of all 
obstruction and offering a full view of the stage from every side— and this was 
secured by a method of construction which carried the entire weight to the 
foundation of the building, without imposing on any of the brick walls of the 

The decorations were quiet and sumptuous, while beautiful coloring 
everywhere greeted the eye. Olive bronze was the basis of the upholstery and 
decorations; the rich plush brocade seats were of that color, the harmony of 
colors was beautifully illustrated in the decorations of the auditorium; the heavy 
crimson plush curtain was hand-painted and embroidered, and bore the portraits 
of Charlotte Cushman and Edwin Forrest, painted in yellow;the act drop repre- 
sented a scene from antique Greek life, skillfully executed. On the parquet 
and balcony were Wilton carpets specially designed to correspond with the 
decorations. Seven hundred Edison incandescent electric lights illuminated the 
stage and auditorium, and in the centre was a chandelier composed of ninety of 
these lamps; the ceiling was paneled with emblematic designs representing 
comedy, tragedy, lyric poetry, martial instruments; the walls, proscenium arch 
and lobbiesVere covered with arabesque and floral designs in subdued tints. 
The theatre was formally opened to the pul)lic on the evening of September 
14th, i885,';when Mr. Singerly introduced Col. A. K. McClure, who made an 
appropriate address, after which the curtain rose and the Madison Square 
Theatre Company presented Mrs. J. C. Ver Planck's drama, "Sealed Instruc- 
tions." After presenting to the public various plays, Willard Spencer's 

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American-Japanese comic opera, "The Little Tycoon," was produced in the 
early part of January of 1886. It had a long run, and with a brief intermission 
it held the boards until the theatre burned. All the special scenery, the 
expensive costumes ana the properties of this opera were destroyed, as well as 
the scenery painted for the new opera, "Phyllis," which was to have been 
brought out about January 17th, 1887. 

Number ^;^ Engine was organized during the year 1886, and was located 
on Richmond street, above Kirkbride street — the want of an engine company 
in this locality was long felt by the residents of Bridesburg and vicinity. Chief 
Engineer Cantlin's recommendation that chemical engines be purchased was 
adopted this year, and two of HoUoway's chemical engines were procured. One 
was located at Highland avenue and Main street, "Chestnut Hill," and the 
other at 7 Decatur street. 

The four- story brick building, 928 North Third street, was destroyed by 
fire at about two o'clock on Saturday morning, November 12th, 1887; the first 
floor was occupied by John Dick, a tool grinder; the second floor by Casper 
Miller, a turner; the third floor by H. B. & J. C. Petty, moulding manufacturers; 
the fourth floor by J. H. McCloskey, a carpet-cleaner. The flames were 
discovered by a policeman, and were first seen in one of the upper floors. On 
account of the proximity of a number of old frame buildings two alarms were 
sounded, but the flames were almost entirely confined to No. 928, though the 
top floor of No. 932, with which the burned building was connected, was 
damaged slightly. A portion of the front wall fell into Third street, but the 
firemen were warned in time to escape. 

At about ten minutes of four o'clock, Saturday morning, December loth, 
1887, the large barrel factory of Wm. G. Pennypacker, situated at Twenty-third 
street and Washington avenue, was discovered to be on fire; three hours later, 
despite the hard work of the fire department, to which two alarms were sent, it 
was a ruin. The factory was a brick structure, with a frontage on Washington 
avenue of 210 feet Eastward from Twenty-third street, and South on Twenty- 
third street,' 133 feet to Alter street, where it extended Eastward the same 
distance as on Washington avenue. It was three stories, with the exception of 
an extension on the Eastern side, which was but two stories high. About 175 
men and boys were employed, who were thrown out of work; the cellar was used 
for the engine and boilers; on the first floor were the drying kilns; on the second 
the setting up and coopering department, and the third floor was used as a store 

From top to bottom the place was filled with dry wood staves, hoops and 
barrels, so that the flames spread with great rapidity and burned fiercely. By 
seven o'clock Saturday morning the lumber, floors and roof of the factory had 
fallen in a pile to the ground, where the wood burned all day Saturday and 
Sunday, making a bright light, and causing the factory with its surrounding 
walls to look like a huge furnace. The office was on Washington avenue, below 
Twenty-third street, and was entirely burned out, the only books or papers 
saved being those in the iron safe. The stable was at the corner of twenty-third 
and Alter streets, and the horses and mules were removed from it before it was 
burned. In the yard on the Eastern side of the factory, a large quantity of 


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lumber was stored, and this was partially consumed. Private "Watchman Ken- 
nard and Engineer Charles MacKinnan are said to have been the only persons 
in the building when the fire broke out. The watchman said that he discovered 
the fire at ten minutes of four on the Twenty-third street front of the first floor, 
about two-thirds of the way from Washington avenue, and immediately gave the 

By an act of the General Assembly the Board of Fire Commissioners 
(after sixteen years existence) was abolished, and the control and management 
of the fire department vested in the Chief Engineer, subject to and under the 
control of the Director of Public Safety. To this last named position Mayor 
Edwin H. Fitler appointed ex-Mayor William S. Stokley, on the 4th day of 
April, 1887. 

A defective flue in the North end of the building of Messrs. Marks & 
Brothers, at the Northwest corner of Eighth and Arch streets, caused a fire on 
the night of January 23d, 1888, which resulted in the total destruction of that 
property as well as the stores across Eighth street to the East on Arch street, to 
the North on Eighth street, besides damaging properties on the South side of 
Arch street, etc. The fire started, as stated, in a defective flue, as early as half 
past seven o'clock. An alarm of fire was sounded, and it w-as thought the 
flames had been extinguished. The men of the Insurance Patrol advised the 
persons who were in the store not to make up the fires again, but to send at 
once for a bricklayer to repair the cracks which were found in the chimney, and 
the watchman was cautioned to keep a strict lookout for fear of a fresh outbreak. 
The Insurance Patrol men had intended to keep a guard in the building, but an 
alarm of fire from Third and Chestnut streets called them away. While they 
and the fire department were engaged at the fire on Chestnut street, the flames 
at Eighth and Arch streets started afresh, and with such fury that before any 
fire apparatus could reach the scene in response to an alarm at 11 :i2 o'clock the 
interior of Marks' store was ablaze. In an inconceivable short space of time 
the fire spread across Eighth street, and enveloped the large three-story brick 
building, occupied by the firm of Adolph Heller as a millinery and fancy goods 

The heat was so intense that the firemen's efforts were unavailing to 
check the progress of the flames, and the men of Company No. 26, at Eighth 
and Arch, were obliged for a time to desert their engine and retreat down 
Eighth street. Of course, the stores on the South side of Arch street, both above 
and below Eighth street, were exposed to this great heat, and at first the 
firemen could only direct their streams of water upon them. Notwithstanding 
these precautions a number of these properties were badly scorched, plate-glass 
windows shattered and woodwork charred; the contents of these were soaked 
with water. On the North, the flames spread to the Eighth street fronts of the 
establishment of Messrs. Strouse, Thanhauser & Co', forming an L from 733 
Arch street, and extending to Winfield street, a small thoroughfare parallel to 
Arch on the West side of Eighth street. The flames soon crossed this small 
street, attacking the third-story stores of Shoneman Bros., 116 to 122 North 
Eighth street. 

N. G. MITCHELL, Prest. R. A. LOWENTHAL, Treas. 

R. M. BASSETT, Vice-Presi. and Sec'y. 

• THE • 




mmm m chambers street, 


Philadelphia, Pa, 

Jersey City, N. J. 

Birmingham, Ct. 

Trenton, N. J. 

Lambertville, N, J. 


At this stage of the fire the men were working against terrible odds. 
Although there was fortunately no high wind, the flames were bursting out with 
such power and in so many directions that it seemed impossible to check them. 
Very soon the east walls of the Marks Bros.' store fell into Eighth street, the 
crash being followed at a short interval by those of the west walls of the Heller 
& Strouse, Thanhauser & Co.'s stores. On the West, on Arch street, the fire 
extended to the property occupied jointly by W. H. Clark, agent for the 
Butterick patterns, and as a boarding house by Mrs. lyaura Evant. The falling 
of the north walls of Strouse, Thanhauser & Co.'s buildings into Winfield streeti 
hsrstened the destruction of the men's furnishing goods store of G. Hangsterfer, 
at the Northeast corner of Eighth and Winfield streets; the .sparks from the 
conflagration were carried by the winds to the Eastward, and at times fell in 
dangerous profusion upon the roofs of adjoining houses and into the streets 
for a distance of several sqyares; the crust of snow remaining on the housetops 
was doubtless instrumental in preventing the further spread of the fire; the entire 
neighborhood was aroused, and on Arch street, West of Eighth, and on Cherry 
street, particularly, residents were active in removing portable goods to places 
of safety. Other properties damaged were as follows : 

The candy manufactory and store of Frederick Knoppel, Southwest corner 
of Eighth and Arch streets, was scorched on the Arch street front all the windows 
were broken by the heat and the place was damaged by water. No. 802 Arch 
street, a four-story brick building was owned by William H. Shuster, and 
occupied by him as a restaurant. No. 804 Arch street, a four-story, zinc-front 
building, was owned and occupied by William Mencke & Bro., dealers in dress 
trimmings. No. 806 Arch street, a three-story brick building, was owned by 
Morris Dannenbaum, and occupied by S. Abeles & Co., dealers in millinery 
goods. No. 808 Arch street was occupied by L. Dannebaura, Sons & Elliott, 
dealers in millinery goods, No. 809 Arch street, a three-story brick building, 
with an attic, was owned by the estate of Eli K. Price; the first floor was 
occupied by W. H. Clark, agent for Butterick's Patterns, and the upper portion 
was a boarding house, kept by Mrs. L,aura Evant; the attic and middle and rear 
of the third story were burned and the contents of the building damaged by 

Although deluged by water, the flames spread to the men's furnishing 
store of G. Hangsterfer, at the Northwest corner of Winfield place and Eighth 
street (No. 117), and it was practically destroyed. Wm. Coates, a dyer, 
occupied the second story; the building which was of brick was three and a-half 
stories in height, and was owned by Wm. A. Haines; an offer of $11,000 was 
refused for it a day before the fire. On the Southeast corner of Eighth and 
Arch streets was a four-story building occupied on the first floor by J, Herzberg 
& Brother, wholesale and retail dealers in diamonds, jewelry and silverware; 
the upper stories were occupied by L,. Homing's Union Photograph Galleries; 
the photographic rooms on the upper floor were damaged by fire to a considerable 
extent, and were deluged with water. Next to Herzberg & Brother, at No. 736 
Arch street, was the four-story building the lower floors of which were occupied 
by John Davis & Sons, furriers, and the upper stories by John W. Calver & Co., 
manufacturers of bonnets and hat frames. The damage by water to the store 



718, 720, 722, 724 ARCH ST., 


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properties, No. 732 Arch street and No. 730 Arch street, the latter occupied by 
Herman Heller, dry goods, etc., was slight, the firemen successfully beading 
their efforts to keep the flames from spreading below Nos. 736 and 738. Shortly 
before two o'clock, and during the progress of the fire, a number of firemen 
were tracking a line of hose through the building, at No. 809 Arch street, to 
play upon the roof of No. 811, which had ignited. When the firemen reached 
the top story an explosion occurred from some unknown cause, badly burning 
Joseph Hollick, of of 221 Lybrandt street, Assistant foreman of Company No. 17, 
about the face and hands. 

The work of the firemen was greatly interfered with by the large number 
of awnings and telegraph and electric light wires along Eighth and Arch streets; 
the wires fell upon the men and engines and considerably hampered their move- 
ments, many of them being live and flashing intermittently for some time after 
the fire started. About one o'clock the officials of the telegraph and electric 
companies cut the wires and began taking them down from the poles. During 
height of the fire, blazing flakes were carried far over the housetops as far East 
as Second street, and many of them falling in showers on the roofs and 
intervening streets. The heat of the fire was so intense at one time that many 
of the firemen were forced to roll in the water, flooding the street, to prevent 
their being burned. 

The locality of the above fire, was the scene of the great St. Cloud Hotel 

fire, which, by a somewhat remarkable coincidence, occurred about the same 

time of night almost exactly two years prior. The St. Cloud Hotel fire started 

in the large Morris building, Nos. 715, 717 and 719 Arch street, shortly after 

midnight on the 26th of January, 1886. It burned fiercely, the wind being 

towards the East (as it was at this subsequent fire), and the immense building 

was soon in a state of complete ruin; the flames spread over the St. Cloud Hotel 

which was separated from the Morris building by a couple of smaller buildings, 

and then ensued one of the most exciting of scenes. Guests of the hotel who 

had retired to slumber, being rudely awakened, poured out into the street, some 

of them but scantily dressed, and others carrying their garments and effects with 

them. Fortunately all of them were enabled to get out safely; the fire swept 

through the St. Cloud Hotel, extending all the way to buildings on Seventh 

street; the total loss was estimated at over a half a million dollars. After the 

fire, the debris and the remaining buildings on the block on Arch street. East of 

Carman place were taken down, and at the corner of Seventh street, H. Carey 

Eea put up a massive six-story building; the walls of the St. Cloud Hotel were 

removed, and the lot is still vacant, but on the site of the burned Morris building 

a handsome new five-story building was reared, the work being but recently 

completed. The Morris building rose along Carman place, on the West, as the 

burned building did, and opposite it, on the East side of the place, froncing on 

Arch street is the new six-story May building, which was put up in the place of 

the old building burned two years ago. The fire of January 26th, 1886, did very 

little damage on the North side of Arch street, West of the May building, and 

did very little damage East of it. 

A large business house on Arch street was destroyed by fire at about 
eleven o'clock on the night of March 15th, 1888. At that hour. Policeman 


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Hartley, of the Fourth District, whose patrol is on Arch street, discovered flames 
issuing from the third floor of the five-story iron building, No. 313, occupied by 
Messrs, Sailer, Lewin & Co., manufacturers of and dealers in shoes, who also 
occupied the second, third, fourth and fifth floors of Nos. 309 and 311; the 
policeman at once sent in an alarm, and the fire department soon responded; 
but before the arrival of the engines the fire had spread rapidly to all portions 
of the building. The flames made their way from the third floor upward through 
the open space under the skylight, burning the floor, and from the skylight 
spread rapidly over all three floors; the burning timbers from the upper portion 
of the building fell through the skylight way to the first and second floors and 
in a short time the entire building was ablaze, the flames shooting from the roof 
to a height of many feet, and lighting the trees and buildings for a number of 


The first floor of Nos. 309 and 311 was occupied by the George F. Blake 
Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of and dealers in steam-pumping 
machinery, and by Copeland & Bacon, dealers in hoisting and mining machinery. 
Of that portion of the building known as No. 313, the first floor was occupied 
by William Ayers & Sons, manufacturers and dealers in horse blankets, \yhen 
the engines arrived, it was found that a number of the water plugs were not in 
working order; this caused some delay, affording an opportunity for a more 
rapid spread of the flames, but it was not long before the work of playing on the 
building was being eff'ectively accomplished. Streams were thrown on the front 
and on the property No. 315 occupied as the City Hotel. Streams were played 
on the rear of the building on Cherry street, and from a small alley in the rear 
of the City Hotel. Although it was soon found to be impossible to save the 
large buildings; the streams were kept on the front and rear and the efforts of 
the firemen were directed to saving the hotel property and that at No. 307, 
which were threatened by the flames bursting from the roof and windows. 
Fortunately, the high winds had abated, and the fire was confined to the building 
in which it started, being completely under control within an hour and a half 
after its discovery. 

The City Hotel, at No. 315 Arch street, of which Hugh Osborne was the 
proprietor, had thirty-nine guests, most of whom had retired. An alarm was 
given and they were all summarily aroused, departing rapidly with such 
effects as they could hastily gather together. By this time the flames 
from the burning building were being wafted over the roof of the City Hotel to 
the St. Elmo Hotel, Nos. 3i7^and 319, of which Joseph M. Feger was the les.see. 
Six streams on the roofs of these buildings, aided by the high walls of the 
burning structure, prevented the spread of the flames to the Westward. E. C. 
Feger, then the clerk of the hotel, said that he was behind the desk at about 
twenty niinutes of eleven o'clock, when the cry of fire was raised from the 
street. The St. Elmo had nearly two hundred guests, about one hundred of 
whom had retired. Mr. Feger went up stairs with one or two others and aroused 
them all. By this time the flames were bursting from the windows of the Ayre's 
building, lighting up the streets for a long distance. The St. Elmo's guests 
gathered up their baggage, with which they hurried into the street. Many 
of the boarders were ladies, one of whom had been ill for a week. She sat at a 














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window of her room until the danger was over, while the other ladies, attired in 
their wraps and bonnets clustered together in the reading room of the first floor 
until it was known that the fire was under control. One of the guests, it is said, 
was so deaf that he could not hear the repeated knocking at his door to arouse 
him and the door had to be forced in. Fragments of broken glass struck 
Assistant Engineer Mooney in the neck, and the blood flowed freel}' from the 
wound, but he continued on duty. Many of the guests of the two hotels sought 
other quarters, and did not return after the fire. 

On the morning of March 24th, 1888, flames were discovered shortly 
before eight o'clock by an employee of the Central Theatre in dressing-room 
No. 10 on the Second floor on the stage, An ineffectual effort was made to 
subdue the flames by the attaches who were in the building, but the sparks from 
the burning room ignited the scenery, and an alarm was given. Engine No. 32 
and the chemical engine were about the first to arrive, only to find the stage a 
furnace of fire; the flames quickly made their way from the roof over the stage, 
and the sparks falling upon the roofs of buildings around Eighth street, started 
what at one time threatened to be a general conflagration. The prompt and 
efficient work of the firemen extinguished the small fires, however, before much 
damage had been done. The fire in the theatre worked through to the front 
part, and about 8.45 o'clock the rear wall fell outward on the Theatre Comique, 
setting that place on fire; the roof at the same time fell in, and in a few minutes 
the large ornamental cornice over the front of the Central Theatre toppled over 
into the street. Poulson's Hotel, on the West of the theatre, was threatened, 
and the guests hurriedly packed up ready to move out, but the west wall of the 
Central Theatre, running above the Mansard roof of the hotel, saved Mr. Poul- 
son's property from any damage. After the fall of the roof, nothing coyld be 
done to save the interior and the firemen gave their attention to protecting the 
surrounding properties. At ten o'clock the fire had burned itself out, leaving 
the walls standing. In the front portion, the ticket office on the first floor and 
Mr. Gilmore's on the second floor were partially saved. The rest of the interior 
of the theatre was entirely destroyed, including the costumes and scenery of the 
"Devil's Auction" and the "Twelve Temptations," that were stored in the 

When the rear wall of the Central Theatre fell, it crushed through the 
roof of the Theatre Comique, directly in the rear, setting fire to the stage and 
completely destroying the southern end of the building; the Comique had not 
been in use for several years, and contained nothing of any value in the way of 
properties, the property — a one-storied brick structure — was owned by J. C. 
How^ard, son of Thomas Howard, owner of the Central, and was estimated to be 
worth about from $7,000 to $8,000. The night watchman at the Central Theatre, 
Harry Coolage, said that he made his usual tour of the building before going 
oS"duty at 7 a. m., and the only light in the building at that time was the watch 
light, that always burns on the stage. He said there was no fire in the furnace 
under the boiler, and nothing indicated that there was a fire smouldering in any 
part of the premises. Manager Gilmore expressed himself as being at a loss to 
account for the origin of the fire. He said : "With no lights burning, no fires 
in the furnaces or under the boiler, it was a great mystery to me how the fire 


Manufacturers of all kinds of 

217 and 219 New Street, between Race and Vine, 

All kinds of Lock Corner Boxes made with Hinge and Sliding Lids. Berry Crates of 
every description made to order. 

C^*A11 orders wiifbe liileil witli promptness. 

Chas. Lippincott. Alfred H. Lippincott. F. Hazard Lippincott. 



925 & 927 Filbert Street, 


Manufacturers and Dealers in 

MmtSt §lli ami Vm? miifc 


2500, 2502 and 2504 GERMANTOWN AVE,, COR. CUMBERLAND ST. 


WIND0W gp;«DEg 4 gPi^DE OIi0Tji, 


Office and Salesroom— 237 N. Second Street, 


The burned theatre occupied a site that had been visited on two previous 
occasions by fire, accompanied each time by great loss of life. The first confla- 
gration occurred in 1861, when a number of ballet girls were burned to death, 
though the building was but slightly damaged. In 1867, the theatre was burned 
to the ground, and eleven persons perished, while a large number were vSeverely 
injured. For the last fifty years, the ground on which the Central Theatre stands 
had been used by places of amusement. About the year 1861, the lot, which 
ran through to Sansora street, was occupied by Roper's Gymnasium. The 
Sansom street end was at that time used for the purpose of showing a panoroma. 
A little later, Raymond & Warring erected a building on the site for purposes 
of a menagerie and circus, and they continued as tenants for some time with 
their zoological collection. They were succeeded by Welch & Lent, and later 
by Rufus Welch. While under the management of Raymond & Warring the 
Zoological Institute, as it was then called, was the scene of considerable excite- 
ment. On December 22d, 1847, the elephant Columbus, which was then on 
exhibition, broke loose from its cage and fatally assaulted Keeper William 
Kelly. A number of dogs were set on the elephant in order to drive it into its 
cage, but only served to madden the beast. Fearing the animal would break 
out of the building, the doors were barred and a cannon placed on Walnut street 
loaded with canister to shoot the beast as soon as it gained the street. The 
elephant was captured, however, before it did any other damage, by dropping a 
noosed rope down from the dome of the building into the ring, where the 
enraged beast was, its fore-feet became entangled in it, and thus crippled, it was 
easily subdued. 

Ballard & Stickney altered the building for the purposes of a circus in 
1853, and opened it for equestrian performances the same year. In the following 
year, Welch & Lent, after their National Amphitheatre on Chestnut street near 
Ninth was burned, obtained possession of the Walnut street menagerie and 
contiued to give performances there for some time. It was known as Welch's 
National Amphitheatre and Circus. 

When William Wheatley took charge of the building, after retiring from 
the Arch Street Theatre management, he tore out the ring, and in its place 
erected a stage and altered the auditorium, making the house suitable for 
dramatic purposes. The theatre was named the Continental. It was while 
Wheatley had the theatre that it was first visited by fire. On the night of Sep- 
tember 14th, 1 86 1, while the performance of the "Tempest" was progressing, 
the audience was alarmed at seeing a ballet girl, wrapped in flames rush across 
the stage, soon followed by others with their clothing ablaze. The curtain was 
rung down and the audience dismissed; when it was found that Miss Hannah 
Gale, one of the dancers while dressing, had her costume ignited, and in 
endeavoring to put out the fire, several other dancers were burned. Six of the 
unfortunate women died that night from the burns, and three more expired 
shortly afterwards. The theatre was but slightly damaged, but after this 
disaster it seemed doomed, and later in the year Mr. Wheatley abandoned it, 
being succeeded in 1862 by Allison & Hicken, who opened the place as a variety 

Robert Fox followed them in 1865, when he opened the house under the 


JAKS, 50 







Chestnut Street, S. E Corner Twelfth, 



name of Fox's American Theatre. He had a short though successful term of 
managemetit, for on June 19th, 1867, a second fire destroyed the entire building 
and with it nearly a dozen lives. The fire was supposed to have originated in 
Mr. Fox's stable in the rear of the theatre. The play on that night was the 
"Black Crook," and had proceeded to about the middle of the performance, 
when fire was discovered, the audience, however, were dismissed without 
accident; the walls fell upon a number of firemen and bystanders, killing eleven 
of them and injuring many others; the theatre was quickly re-built, and on 
September 14th, re-opened with a variety entertainment. Fox remained here 
for about three years, when he bought the old Academy of the Fine Arts, which 
formerly occupied the site of the Chestnut Street Opera House. Fox was 
succeeded by Henry Kanaga, as a manager, and he in turn was followed by 
the Taylor Brothers, who managed the theatre only for a short time, 
and it came into the possession of a man named Mortimer. Wm. J. Gilmore 
and John Dufi'y took the house in 1876. They continued for some time until 
William Gallagher began to manage it. He was afterwards associated with Mr. 
Gilmore in the management, and while in their charge, in the summer of 18S3, 
the old theatre was torn down and the one destroyed in 1888 erected. Shortly 
after the new theatre's erection, Mr. Gallagher withdrew from the management 
and it was continued up to the time of the fire by Mr. Gilmore. Since the fire, 
the theatre has been re-built and managed by Mr. Gilmore. 

The lot of ground, on which the ruined Theatre Comique stood, was in 
the latter part of 1844 taken for the purpose of erecting a circus building. 
This was at the rear of Roper's Gymnasium, then on Walnut street; this Sansom 
street structure, called the Columbian Circus, was occupied as such for about a 
year, when in 1835, the place was fitted up for the purpose of exhibiting 
dioramas, the first of which, entitled the "Destruction of Jerusalem," it was 
claimed was written by Benjamin West, and contained about 2,000 feet of 
canvas, this picture was followed by one representing the great "New York 
Fire," which occurred December i6th, 1855, and did great damage to Wall 
street and its vicinity. During the year, the "Westminster Abbey" and the 
"North Pole," were subjects of dioramas shown here, and in 1857, the 
"Departure of the Israelites from Egypt," was added. This, like the first one, 
was painted on an immense canvas, and was so popular that it was shown until 
the end of the year. In 1838, the "Crucifixion and the City of Jerusalem," 
painted by H. Sehon, was shown for six months, being succeeded by an 
elaborate view of London, also of large dimensions. That was probably the last 
year of dioramas here. The ground was afterwards taken in by the theatre 
erected on Walnut street by William Wheatley. After this was burned 
in 1867, only the Walnut street lot was rebuilt upon, the Sansom street ground 
was allowed to remain unoccupied. 

The International Comique was erected upon this site in 1876, by Squire 
McColgan and Thomas Hughes, and was often used as a pool room. In the 
following winter variety performances were given. Squire McColgan secured 
sole possession in 1879, and ran the place until his death in 1S85. It then passed 
into other hands; and George Lovel, ex-Councilman Ryan and others were at 
times managers of the theatre. During the first period, sparring matches 

Geo. W. Haslet. Jas. I. Flanagen. M. B. Buckman. 


Manufacturers and Dealers in 



^ AND JAPANNED 1. JH\ 'l^ ^^ .tjLli 
House Furnishing Goods, Tinmen's Trimmings, &c., &c. 



prouidei^ee Dye U/orks, 


Plushes and Stockinetts, Dress Goods, Cassimeres, Cloakings, 
Woolen, Worsted, Slubbing, Cotton Yarn and Warps, 

New York OflBce: Philadelphia OfBce: 


Works: Corners Taylor, Emerald and Adams Sts., 



Manukactureks of 

Double and Single Connection Cylinder Sight Feed Cups, 
Government Regulation Pop Safety Valves, for Marine, Stationary and Loco- 
motive Boilers, Steam Engine Governors, Injectors, Ejectors, Reliable Steam 
Trap, Steam Damper Regulator, Steam Gauges, Boiler Fittings, Etc. 



between local pugilists and sparrers were frequently introduced into the 
performance, but after Mayor Fitler's inauguration this was stopped, and the 
place shortly afterwards closed. 

A fire on the night of November 6th, 1888, destroyed the stock in the 
spice mill of Barclay Johnson & Co., No, t^^^ South Water street, and consid- 
erably damaged the building. The fire started about 8:30 o'clock. John L. 
Twiford, the night watchman, said he first saw the flames issuing from the 
engine room, and at once caused an alarm to be sent in from the office of 
the Boston and Philadelphia Steamship Company, No. 333 South Delawere 
avenue; this was followed by a second alarm shortly afterwards. The building 
had an alley on the North side of it and one in the rear, which gave the firemen 
an opportunity to get at the flames from three sides. A number of engines 
were brought into play, and the services of Police Tug Stokley was also taken 
advantage of. It was fully an hoiir before the fire was under control, and the 
building was badly gutted. The fire spread to the roof of Randolph & Jenk's 
warehouse. No. 331 South Water street and to that of the building No. 335, and 
damaged both slightly. During the fire, John Cox and Peter McLaughlin, of 
Truck B, were injured by falling bricks, and George McNeall and James 
Sowney of Engine Company No. 8, were hurt by falling from a ladder. None 
were seriously injured. 

During the year 1888, a contract was given to the Silsby Manufacturing 
Compan}^ for six new engines which were to take the place of the same number 
of old engines which had been in service during the days of the Volunteer 
Department, and had been purchased from the different volunteer companies on 
the forming of the paid department. The first engine arrived and was tested 
on September i8th, and despite numerous criticism to the efi'e6t that it would 
not come up to the standard, it far surpassed it, and upon the arrival of the 
others they were placed in service where most needed. 

At a quarter before ten o'clock on the morning of February 19th, 1889, 
a fire broke out in the basement of Rudolph Blankenburg & Co., No. 15 Bank 
street, Nos. 14, 16 and 18 Strawberry street, which spread with such amazing 
rapidity that before- the firemen could reach the ground it was beyond the power 
of human agencies to control. Before its progress could be checked the block 
of properties comprising three numbers on Bank street and four on Strawberry 
street a depth of 140 feet, were completely consumed. The Blankenburg 
building was a five-story brick and iron structure, having a double front on 
Strawberry street, and a wing on the south side — No. 18 — extending half the 
distance between two small streets. Adjoining the property on the north exactly 
similar to it in construction, was the building. No. 11 Bank street, the second 
and third floors of which were also occupied by Rudolph Blankenburg & Co. 
The remainder was occupied by Thompson, Foust & Co., dealers in hosiery, 
underwear, knit goods, etc. These properties were owned by Henry C. Lea. 
To the south, on the Bank street front, was a four-story iron building occupied 
principally by Richard Campion, dealer in cotton yarns, while on the Strawberry 
street front, at No. 20, was a five-story iron front structure, having a depth of 
about seventy feet, occupied mainly by James Doak, Jr. & Co., as a warehouse 
and salesrooms for worsted goods, and by Risborough Bros., executors of 





No. 115 North Seventh Street, 



Geo. GHREY Sc CO. 


India Pale Ale, 

XX Ale, Porter, 

and Brown Stout, 

Hos, 934 to 944 N. Third Strget, 

Phoenix Brewery; PHlliABELiPHIA. 


Richard Williamson, deceased. This building belonged to the Williamson 
estate, while Campion's building belonged to the Provident Life and Trust Co. 

Nothing but conjecture can be given even to this day as to the origin of 
the fire. Mr. Blankenburg said that he was in his office on the first floor, near 
the centre of the building, when a packer in the employ of his firm rushed up 
stairs from the basement with the startling announcement that the building was 
afire. Mr. Blankenburg rushed out to see for himself, onl}' to find dense 
volumes of smoke rapidly filling the place. He ran to the light-well and shouted 
to the employees on the upper floors to get out as rapidly as possible. He 
added : "I barely had time to get my hat and coat from the office and rush for 
the street, when raging flames swept up to the very top of the building. I could 
not have remained there a moment longer. One of my men started to go to the 
cellar, I suppose to try to get something to put out the fire, I yelled to him 
imperatively to come back and he did so, but not an instant too soon, for even 
in that brief time the mass- of flame was close enough to scorch his hair." 
Mr. Blankenburg said there were about thirty-five employees in different parts 
of the building, several of them being young women employed on the upper 
floors. The latter were very much frightened, but all managed to get out safely. 
In connection with the escape of the inmates of the building, a thrilling incident 
occurred. Iron platforms, presumabl}'- intended for fire-escapes, connected the 
windows of the buildings, Nos ir and 13 Bank street, the idea being that the 
employees, driven from one building could escape into the one adjoining. In 
this case, however, the iron windows of the northern property were firmly 
fastened, besides it the buildings were connected by archwai'S cut through the 
dividing w^all. Two of the Blankenburg male employees on the fourth floor 
sought exit by means of one of these platforms, the result being that they were 
trapped, no ladders connecting the several platforms. One of the men would 
probably have jumped to the street had not a fireman climbed up by means of 
scaling ladders and reassured him until the truck company, fortunately soon at 
hand in the street below, was able to raise its large ladder, when escape was 
made practically eas)^ 

Whether the fire spread into Thompson, Eoust & Co's building by means 
of the two connecting doorways, or by burning cinders dropping through the 
skylight on the roof, no one could tell distinctly, but its progress was so rapid 
that both buildings were ablaze by the time the firemen could get to work. So 
far as could be ascertained, the alarm was sounded promptly, one policeman 
running to Second and Market streets and another to Third and Dock streets, 
sounding alarms almost simultaneously. The second alarm was sounded a few 
minutes later. Chief Engineer Cantlin finding that more help was needed. The 
narrow streets on both fronts rendered the work extremely difficult, the heat in 
the streets being so intense and the ground for retreat so small that the men 
suffered severely. With a fierce fire raging in front and the ever-present danger 
of its immediate spread on either side, the fire companies for over an hour made 
a desperate struggle. Fortunately they were enabled to carrj- their hose to the 
roofs on the east, west and north sides, thus fighting the fire at much closer 
range than would have been possible on wider streets. The surrounding 
buildings were, of course, completely drenched, and the progress of the fire in 
this direction was checked. 



Hall ^^ f a.ii§y Pap®f S®x« 

207 and 209 North Second Street, 




Xsleplion.© Coi:ci.m.-u.n.ica,tion.. 

El^etriq IJ^l^t ^o/ripapy, 



Lamps, Isolated Plants and Electrical Supplies. 


The firemen were not so successfnl in confining the flames to the south of 
the Blankenburg building. On the Strawberry street front, the building chieflj- 
occupied by James Doak, Jr. & Co;, worsted and worsted goods manufacturers, 
took fire, and soon nothing but the walls was left — the stock being entirely 
destroyed. The second story was occupied b}- the offices of the firm, and the 
third, fourth and fifth floors were filled completely with an extensive stock of 
both knit and woven worsted goods. The books of the concern were kept in a 
large safe on the second floor, and were uninjured; but everything else was 
completely destroyed. Although the fire mad^ such rapid progress it was so 
thoroughly and efficiently managed that by 11.30 a. m. the firemen had it under 
control. At this time, however, the interior of the burned buildings was a white 
mass of flame, which occupied the undivided attention of the firemen for several 
hours more. Early in the afternoon, a large portion of the wall, separating the 
buildings Nos. 11 and 13 Bank street, fell into the ruins with a thundering 
cra.sli. This weakened the front wall on Strawberry street so great that about 
2.45 p. m. it fell into that thoroughfare almost without warning. A group of 
firemen had been stationed with a stream directly in front but a moment before. 
A member of Truck B, however, remarked that he did not like the looks of that 
wall, and warned the hosemen to drawback. This they did, hardly getting out 
of the way before the came. If anyone had been standing in the street 
in front, they could have hardly escaped being overwhelmed. Bs' that time it 
was found possible to relieve some of the firemen, and later in the day the 
services of all, but a very few needed to keep the ruins drenched with water, 
were dispensed with. 

There has never been anj'thing but theory as to the origin of the fire. The 
Blankenburg building was warmed by three heaters, and there was in the base- 
ment a gas engine used for running the elevators. Inspector William McDevitt, 
of the In.surance Patrol, said that the gradual escape of gas until an explosive 
mixture of gas and air was formed might readily have been the cause. This 
would account for the otherwise inexplicable flame burst, which was the first 
intimation of the existence of a fire. Mr. Blankenburg seemed to think this 
theory probably contained the correct explanation. Some forms of gas engines, 
it was said, have as a part of their mechanism, a rubber reservoir bag, which 
might have contained the leak or the fire might have reached it. One or two 
persons on Bank street claimed to have heard a dull explosion; but neither Mr. 
Blankenburg nor any of his emploj-ees admitted hearing any such sound. A 
young man, emploj'ed by Phil. J. Walsh, who was close to the hatchways on 
the Strawberry street front, said that he heard no explosion, but first saw a 
sheet of flame burst out of the hatchway. The elevator shafts and the light-well 
in the centre of the building, carried the fire through the building so rapidly 
that no time was aff"orded for an investigation. 

Detedlives Crawford & Geyer arrested Walter Roberts, alias Robert 
Johnson for alleged pocket-picking on the fire-ground. The prisoner, it was 
alleged, was seen to drop a purse, containing twenty-five cents, which had been 
filched from the pocket of Miss Richards, 2959 North Third street. 
Julius Gruber, alias William Smith, of New Market street was arrested 
by detectives Bond and Murray on the charge of picking pockets at the fire. 







o ^ 


c o 

M ^ 




Hibernia Hand Fire Engine of 1844, (Bnilt by Agnew,) 

and Engine House, Evelina Street. Preparing 

for Parade, October 5tli, ] 857. 


Two pocket-books were found on the person of the defendent; one of which 
contained the name of Miss Lillie Mead, 104 North Fourth street, and the other 
a pawn ticket for a vahiable gold w'atch. 

The burned buildings occupied the site of those destroyed by the great 
fire of March 28th, 1853, when stocks of almost fabulous value at that time 
were consumed by the flames. The fire then broke out on Sunday morning in 
the basement and first story of the store of Lewns & Co., a supposed fire-proof 
structure, extending back to Bank street. It had iron doors and shutters which 
resisted the attempts of the firemen to break them open in order to throw in 
water. The flames ascended to the third and fourth stories of the same building, 
occupied by Wyeth, Rogers & Co., and extended to an adjoining building 
also supposed to be fire-proof; occupied by George H. Stuart & Bros. Adjoining 
property, occupied by Gihon & Co. and others. The loss was $755,000, 

Shortly before one o'clock on the morning of March 15th, 1889, fire broke 
out in Yost's cigar store. No. 1705 North Broad street, and spreading to the 
Columbia avenue Market and Hall, a three-story building, consumed the 
structure, with the exception of the corner store of P. Cunningham, tailor. The 
fire originated from an overheated stove, and was discovered at 12:45 o'clock, 
and an alarm was promptly struck. A few minutes later a second alarm was 
given, but the fire had then made such progress, that the effort of the firemen 
towards saving the building were useless. A stiff" Northeast wind was blowing 
at the time, and while protecting the brewery property to the North, it carried 
the flames toward the centre of the market hall which was soon a mass of flames. 
Bush's stable, adjoining the market on Columbia avenue, caught fire, and 
the firemen turned their attention to saving the horses which were all success- 
fully re.scued. P. Cunningham occupied the corner as a tailoring establishment, 
and a large quantity of his stock was carried out and placed opposite on the 
sidewalk. Though not burned, the stock was somewhat damaged by water. 
The strong wind carried a cloud of sparks across Columbia avenue to the roof 
of the Academy of the Sisters of Meicy, w^'hich was badly scorched, but the 
efforts of the firemen prevented the spread of the flames in this direction. The 
market hall was owned by Richard J. Dobbins. The first story of the hall 
was divided into quite a large number of stores, and occupied by different 
people. The upper portion of the building was used as a dancing academy, 
Burris' billiard hall, post room and lodge rooms. The dancing academy on the 
Broad street front was occupied by Prof. G. W. Smith. In another large room 
on the Columbia avenue side, Constantine Carpenter also conducted a dancing 
academy. G. D. Baker Post, No. 8, Grand Army of the Republic, and Baker 
Post Guards had handsomely fitted quarters in the building, and many relics of 
the war, which were destroyed. 

Between nightfall on Saturday and daylight of November 2 2d, 1889, two 
disastrous fires occured, entailing the loss of one brave fireman's life, and 
injuring a dozen other firemen; and an aggregate destruction of property 
estimated at about $183,000. The first was that in the shipping and receiving 
warehouse of Sharpless Brothers' dry goods house, on Jayne street above Eighth, 
early Saturday evening, which connected to neighboring buildings and entailed 
losses estimated all together at $50,000; and the other fire was at Janney & 


Carpenter, Builder and Contractor, 

212 New Street, and 

415 St. John's Street, 

Houses and Stores for Sale or Rent. 

llllIWi & 111 111 , 


n^^-Virginia Pine Wood, Sawed, Split, and Delivered, in Cellar, 

$3.00 A WAGON LOAD. 


Pine Knots and Ends, $2,50 per Load. Butchers' and Bakers' 
Wood very cheap. 

Bar Sand. Oak and Hickory Wood for Open Grates. 

run firemen's record. 259 

Andrews' wholesale grocery, on Market street near Second. Here, James 
McCuen, of Engine Company No. 4, was killed, and a number of his companions 
were injured by falling ruins, heat and smoke. 

Patrolman Bonsall, of the Fifth-Street Police Station, at 3.30 o'clock on 
the morning of November 22d, 1889, discovered flames and smoke issuing from 
the rear windows of the third story of the wholesale grocery house of Janney & 
Andrews, Nos. 119, 121 and 123 Market street. He gave the alarm, and in a 
few minutes the fire companies began to arrive on the scene, but the flames had 
made such progress that at first the firemen fought only to prevent their spread 
to the adjoining properties, perceiving that little would be left of the Janney & 
Andrews warehouse. At 5'. 14 o'clock a second alarm was sounded, the fire then 
raging so fiercely that there was great danger of it spreading to Banner Thomas' 
cordage warehouse and W. H. & C. W. Allen's hardware establishment, to the 
East, and to David Scull & Co.'s wool warehouse to the West. For about seven 
hours the firemen were on the ground, and from every available spot streams of 
water were directed on the the flames. The crew of Engine No. 4, whose 
station was on Seventeenth street below Chestnut street, went up an alley in the 
rear of Banner Thomas' store, dragging a line of hose with them. The crew 
was headed by Foreman Timothy McNamara, and included Assistant Foreman 
James McCuen, John Painter, Hugh CalHgan, Joseph Hart and James Atkinson. 
To the West of the alley, less than fifty feet away, rose the six stories of the 
grocery warehouse, from the roof of which dense volumes of flame and smoke 
were rolling upwards. On the South were the -Market street warehouses; on 
the East (behind the men) was Allen's building, and on the North were the 
Church street structures, parted only by the narrow alley up which the men had 
just come. A one-story brick office building, occupied by W. H. & C. W. 
Allen, adjoined the warehouse of the latter and faced the burning buildings. To 
the roof of this, the crew of Engine No. 4 mounted, carrying with them their 
line of hose. In the gray dawn of the morning. Foreman McNamara saw the 
great danger to his men should the wall of the burning building topple over, and 
looked around for an avenue of escape. 

A window, opening into the centre of the second story of the Allen ware- 
house, looked out upon the roof of the office building. The shutters were pried 
off, the windows broken in and the gas in the building lighted. Meanwhile the 
nozzle of the hose had been directed by McCuen and Painter, at the suggestion 
of the foreman, and the stream of water was rising high over the roof of the 
burning building. Shortly after five o'clock, that portion of the east wall of the 
building, not supported by the structures on Market and Church streets, swayed 
over, and the fifth and sixth stories of it dropped down into the enclosures. The 
foreman, who was with the crew on the office roof, was the first to see the 
danger and shouted to his comrades, A rush and a dive through the open 
window saved five of them. McCuen, who was the, was caught under the 
falling mass and was pinned to the roof. When his comrades looked out his 
body was almost covered by the bricks. In an instant the men were at work 
removing the debris, and tender hands bore the unconscious man through the 
window and placed him on a counter. A comrade bound a handkerchief about 
his head, and Dr. Green, one of Police Surgeon Andrews' assistants, looked 

^|c WAM POLE'S :tH- 


iPreparattort <^od li^iver QU^ 





Varnislies, Paints, Glass & Brushes 


272 & 274 South Second Street, 



Manvel Wind Mills, Steam Engines, 

Boilers, Tanks, Pulleys, Shafting, Belting, Iron Pipe, Brass Goods, 
Tools, and Fittings for Steam and Water. 

a-oxji-.iD's p>xjjsd:i's. 



The best known remedy for Gatherings, Carbuncles, Felons, Boils, 

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II^~For sale by all druggists at 25 cents a box, or five boxes for |i.oo. If your druggist 
does not keep it, send 27 cents in postage stamps to 

ALEX. G. KELLER, Ph., G., Sole Manufacturer, 

161 North Second Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 


after his condition. An ambulance was summoned from the Pennsylvania 
Hospital, but McCuen died within a half hour after his removal to that institu- 
tion. Police Surgeon Andrews telegraphed to Alexander McCuen, a brother of 
the dead fireman, and the remains were taken early in the afternoon to his 
residence, No. 1631 Columbia avenue, from whence he was buried the following 
Wednesday. James McCuen was a widower, and lived with his five children at 
1 51 1 Garnet street. He had been an employee in the fire department nearly a 
dozen j^ears, being connected first with Engine No. 27, at Twenty-seventh street 
and Columbia avenue. McCuen had several times escaped death from falling 
ruins. He was beside Hoseman Showers when the latter was killed, February 
1889, at the fire at Wyeth & Brothers' factory and was then badly injured. He 
had another narrow escape at the Sharpless fire, when his hat was knocked 
from his head by a beam, and was recovered several hours later where the 
danger had been greatest. 

A number of other firemen were injured. Frank DeHaven, of Engine 
No. 1, had his arm broken, and sufi'ered general contusions from falling debris. 
The fumes from burning cayenne pepper severely scorched the throat and eyes 
of Foreman Miles McGehan and Hosemen Thomas Woodruff, Samuel Cook and 
Richard Barrett, of Engine No. 20, who had violently forced their way into the 
burning building. William Colshed, assistant foreman of Engine No. 21, was 
almost sufi"ocated by the smoke, and William Ludwig, a hoseman of Engine No. 
3, had his elbow fractured and dislocated by falling bricks. Gottleib HofF, of 
Engine No. 21. James Hughes, Edward Ellis, and John Graham also sustained 
slight injuries. 

The falling wall crashed through the rear of the building adjoining, and 
at once carried the flames to the structure No. 117, occupied by Banner Thomas, 
and the one-story ofiice building of W. H. & C. W. Allen. The rear of Mr. 
Thomas's building, a three-story structure, was completely gutted. The cause 
of the fire has always remained a mystery. It originated, it is thought, near the 
centre of the third floor of the double six-story building, Nos. 121 and 123 
Market street. It was a substantial brick structure, with iron window frames, 
and extended through to Church street. The firm consisted of Benjamin S. 
Janney, Jr., B. F. Andrews and H. S. Janney. In the basement, sugar, molasses, 
etc.. were stored, and in a large vault under the sidewalk was a large stock of 
matches. On the first floor were the shipping and receiving departments, and 
on the second, general box goods and whole packages, such as tobacco and teas 
and a few canned goods were kept. The third story accommodated the packing 
room for spices, coflfees, etc. ; storage rooms for broken packages, and the girls' 
dressing rooms. It was at first thought that the fire originated in the dressing 
room, but Mr. Andrews said that this was scarcely possible, inasmuch as cloaks 
were still hanging in the room, uninjured by the flames. In the fourth, fifth 
and sixth floors were stored about 70,000 cases of canned goods. In the rear of 
the two upper floors was a large fire-proof department, in which were thecofi'ee 
roasters and spice rooms. The centre of the building was almost completely 

Engine Company No. 4, to which James McCuen belonged, has had an 
eventful history so far as accidents a^je concerned. At the Temple Theatre fire, 

:Fi2srE) x^i^sTE OIF 





Importer and Wholesale Dealer in 

349 l^c Front Street, 20 Callowhill St., 


Fine Fi^sliiiici ^J^a<ifttGf 

Base Ball, Bicycle and Tennis Goods, 

ED^V. K. TRYOISr, JR. & CO. 
10 & 12 N. 6th Street, 220 N. 2d Street. 

Andrew Steinmann's 




Hoseraan John Gibson one of its members, lost his life. Another of its hosemen, 
George Showers, was killed in the Wyeth fire, February 1889. Charles McCrory, 
one of its drivers, was thrown from the engine on September 13th, 1890- 
Foreman McNamara was thrown off a ladder at a fire near Second and Walnut 
streets about a year previous to Market street fire, and was in bed seven weeks. 
The cooipany has a reputation of being quick at fires, and its members are said 
to be fearless in the performance of duty. 

The fire in the receiving and shipping warehouse of Sharpless Brothers, 
a three-story structure, just above Eighth and Jayne streets, was discovered by 
workmen who were engaged on the second floor at the time. The gaslight 
growing dim, an investigation resulted in discovering smoke ascending from 
below. There were six men in the place : Robert Maxwell, Walter Guest 
William Bulkan, Charles A. Stockwell, John Keller and Frank Colligan. Keller 
ran to the third story and called out from the window to Mr. Townsend Sharpless 
in the main building on Chestnut srreet, which is connected with the warehouse 
by a bridge across Jayne street, and one of the employees, George Frowert sent 
in an alarm from Green's Hotel at 7:15 o'clock. The warehouse was locked as 
was also the approach by the bridge. No other means of escape offering, 
Stockwell broke in the glass above the bridge with his hands, crawled along the 
top to the main building, and had the door unlocked when his comrades emerged 
from their dangerous position. Three alarms were turned in, and until ten 
o'clock the firemen struggled to confine the flames. A number of members of 
Engine Companies Nos. 2 and 4 were overcome by smoke. At the end of the 
first half hour it was thought the fire was under control, but a short time after- 
wards flames went up from the roof and out through the windows threatening to 
take in the surrounding buildings. Additional assistance responded to the call 
of the workers, however, and after laboring for about three hours, the fire was 
under control. 

During the year 1889, Assistant Engineers Pullinger and Humphreys 
retired, and Messrs. James F. McGarity and William G. McDade were appointed 
to fill the vacancies. The Silsby engines, purchased in 188S, gave such perfect 
satisfaction that six additional ones were purchased and distributed throughout 
the business and thickly built up portions of the city. 

A fire in the Hampden Woolen Mills extending from. Howard to Mascher 
street, below Jefferson, on Saturday afternoon, May 31st, 1890, resulted in the 
loss of one life and over ;gioo,ooo damage. The mill closed at twelve o'clock, 
and about a quarter to one o'clock a fire was discovered by an employee of the 
building, in a pile of waste on the fifth floor. Although nearly all the employees 
had left the building, a call for help was raised and an attempt made to 
extinguish the flames. In the meanwhile, an alarm was sent out, and by the 
time the fire engines responded, the fire had gained such headway that another 
alarm was immediately sounded. Additional engines soon arrived, and at this 
time a report was spread that an employee was on the fifth floor. Firemen John 
Gorman and Thomas Mollyneux mounted a ladder leading to the fifth stor3^ 
and by the aid of an axe they forced in the door, and found Frank Mangelstoafif 
a loom-hand lying upon the floor. He was dragged from the burning building, 
but it was found that he was dead. The supposition is that Mangelstoafif, who 

Formerly of 36 N. Second St. and 1737 Frankford Avenue. 


llOl IV. Second Street, 

1097-99 Germanto^vn Avenue, 


Stores open until 8 p. m, Saturdays until 10 p- m. 

Furniture, Carpets, Dry Goods. Clothing, Ladies' Coats, Wraps, 
Boots and Shoes, Hats, Caps, Jewelry, Stoves, etc 

IKelia.'ble 0-ood.s- X-o'^^Tsrest IE='rices- 

Give us a call and see our New Store and New Stock. 



Continental Fire Insurance Company 

Issues Safety Fund Perpetual Policies. 
Safety Fund $1,200,000. 

Cash Capital $1,000,000. 
Surplus to Policy-holders $2,602,620.05. 

Total Assets $6,000,000. 

. I LUIZ, iaiiager Pliilailflpliia Braiicli Oicc, 



had left his watch on his loom, had returned to secure his timepiece and was 
suffocated by the smoke. The dead man had a long gash on his arm, evidently 
made by forcing his arm through the window in attempting to escape. The 
building was a five-story brick structure, and was owned by the Arrott Steam 
Power Mill Co. The first and second floors were occupied by Thomas H. Wil- 
son & Co., manufacturers of woolen goods; the third floor was used as a woolen 
storage house by J. Ring & Sons; the fourth and rear portion of the fifth floor 
w^ere occupied by Robert J. & R. Ritchie, manufacturers of upholstery goods, 
and the front part of the fifth floor occupied by Crozier & Holdecroft, woolen 

Carey Brothers' wall paper factory, which was the largest in the world, 
and H. T. Atkinson's planing mill, both situated in the territory bounded by 
Susquehanna avenue, the Reading Railroad tracks, Nevada and Tenth streets, 
were completely wiped out by a disastrous fire, which started shortly after four 
o'clock on the morning of July 13th, 1890. Exactly how the fire started cannot 
be learned, but several persons in the immediate neighborhood at the time, say 
it originated in Atkinson's stable, near the corner of Tenth and Susquehanna 
avenue, adjoining the mill. John Walls, a stable boss at the Fourth and Eighth 
Streets Passenger Railway barns, who was in the vicinity at the time, said he 
saw the start of the fire about fifteen minutes after four, one corner of Atkinson's 
mill being seen to be in a blaze. A brisk wind was then blowing from the 
Southwest, and for a short time the adjoining property did not seem to be in 
danger. Before, however, the fire department was fairly on the ground — in 
response to several alarms sent in— the wind shifted to the Southeast, directly 
against the great wall paper factory, and in a few minutes the flames had com- 
municated with the structure. Once started it went like tinder. The fire 
gathered force as it went, and soon enveloped the entire block. The heat was 
so intense that a team of horses of Truck 23 being driven through Tenth street 
to Nevada street were badly singed. 

The residents of the row of houses along the East side of Tenth street, 
from Susquehanna avenue to Nevada street, and on the North side of Nevada 
street, from the railroad tracks to Tenth street, frightened from their sleep by 
the roaring and cracking of the burning building, ran out by rear doors dragging 
with them what they were able of their household goods. Some seemingly 
stupefied, ran about the streets in the vicinity with only their night clothes on 
or a single garment picked up in the hurry, and were taken in by sympathetic 
neighbors. Only the most active efforts of the fire department saved the two 
rows of dwellings from complete destruction. Nearly all of them were more or 
less burned on their exteriors. Thousands of people living in contiguous streets 
attracted by the glare of light and the noise of the engines, left their homes to 
view the spectacle. The flames shot high into the air, and, presumably on 
account of the chemicals used in the manufacture of the paper, presented a 
variety of beautiful colors. A bright red sheet of fire would be succeeded by a 
dazzling blue, and to be followed by green and yellow, resembling, as a spectator 
expressed, an immense Fourth of July display. On the upper floors of the 
factory were long lines of wall paper stretched out to dry, and as the flames 
caught these they would be sent up into the air and float off" over the houses like 
rockets of brilliant lights. 


Manufacturers and Patentees of 

THE) I x: Xv 

Sip Joys apd l^fou^lties, 

Office 229 Arch St., Philadelphia. 

This Firm is the only one in Philadelphia who manufacture TIN TOYS, shipping the 
same all over the United States and Canada, also the largest manufacturers of Tin Toys in 
the United States. 

Also manufactures of and sole agents for the celebrated ROSS PNUMATIC WHISTLE 
for Speaking Tubes. It has no spring to break off, never gets out of order, always ready 
for use, sure and safe alarm. We also supply and put up Whistles and Speaking Tubes for 
Factories and Stores. Send for circular and price list. 

Factory and Warerooms Nos. loo, 102 and 104 Bread Street. 
III^"We employ seventy persons. 



Gsrmantown, Philadelphia, 


ienchener Export. 

Fine Lager Beer, Ale, Porter, Brown Stout, and 

India Pale Ales. 


A loud hissing noise accompanied the crackling and rumbling, and occa- 
sionally a crash was heard as a part of the roof or floor fell in. At about half 
past five o'clock a portion of the wall, fronting on Nevada street, fell with a 
tremendous noise. It had been feared by residents that when the wall came 
down they would fall upon and crush in their dwellings. They were so thick 
and heavy, however, that when they toppled, their great weight brought them 
down perpendicularly in great showers of brick and mortar. A quarter of an 
hour later a part of the wall along the railroad side fell, and was shortly after- 
ward followed by a considerable extent of the Tenth street wall. Some of the 
portions left standing proving a menace to life and property, members of the fire 
department battered them into the ruins to prevent the possibility of their falling 
outwards. It required great exertion to confine the fire, it being found utterly 
impossible to save any part of the factory or planing mill. Long before noon, 
nothing remained of the large establishment but an outline of rugged walls 
surrounding a smoking level of debris. A small warehouse, for second-hand 
building frames and iron, belonging to Bertolet Brothers, at 1005 Susquehanna 
avenue, was so thoroughly destroyed that nothing was found to recall it to the 
minds of the people in the neighborhood. 

When the fire reached the northern end of the factory, the strong wind 
which was'^blowing swept the flames across Nevada street to the row of dwelling 
houses on the upper side, opposite the factory; and despite the efforts of the 
firemen j'^a number of the roofs were burned off the dwellings, and they were 
badly damaged by water. The grocery store at the corner, owned and occupied 
by Peter McGaugh, sustained the greatest loss. The entire front of the house 
was burned, the roof was entirely destroyed. The residence of James PoUion, 
at 10 13 Nevada street, was also badly damaged ; all the front of the house was 
burned, as was also a portion of the roof. In the dwelling at 1015 Nevada 
street, which was occupied by William Jamison, the engineer of the factory, all 
the bedroom furniture in the house was burned; the roof completely destroyed, 
and all the shutters, frames, and the front door were burned. The residence of 
D. N. Abbott, at 1017 Nevada street, had the roof burned off, and the front of 
the building badly damaged. The house at 1019 Nevada street, occupied by 
Mrs. Haslet had the greater part of the roof burned ofi", and the front of the 
house considerably damaged. A bay window in the rear of the house was also 
injured. The carpenter shop and stable at 102 1 Nevada street, was only slightly 

The roofs of the houses on the South side of Dauphin street, between 
Tenth and Eleventh streets, were more or less damaged by flying sparks. 
During the early part of the morning while the fire was at its height, the house 
tops in the vicinity of the fire were filled with people, all of whom were pouring 
water over the places where the sparks alighted. The house of A. J. Cooper, 
che time-keeper of the factory, located at the Southeast corner of Eleventh and 
Nevada streets; was badly damaged; the roof was burned ofi" and the front of the 
house was badly damaged. The houses along the East side of Tenth street, 
between Nevada street and Susquehanna avenue, were only slightly damaged. 
Many windows were broken and the fronts of some of the houses were scorched. 
Joseph Seigel, of No. 2229 North Tenth street, was burned about the arms and 




The Original One-Price Hat and Cap 




©PFifKG©, AXExELS & WHElElEx©, 

Sole Agents for 

Charter Oak Bolts, Wiirster's Wagon Axles, Liggett' s Superior Half- 

Patent & Collinge Axles, 
Carriage Trimmings, Contractors' and Blacksmiths' Tools a Specialty. 







211 '^ 213 'Jb^s.xl^ot Street, 


William C. Peters, James B. Maharg.— E. L. Wunder, A. C. Mellor, H. C. Nelson. 





3191 Market Street, North Side- 


slightly on the face, while endeavoring to save his dwelling by pouring buckets 
of water on the roof. Slight damage from flying sparks was reported from 
neighboring points. 

On the afternoon of December ist. 1890, at three o'clock a fire broke out 
iu the mule and spinning department of the H. Campbell Manufacturing 
Company's large mill on the Canal bank, opposite Robeson street. Six hundred 
operators were employed in the great building, which extended for nearly 500 
feet, between the Schuylkill river and the Canal at this point. There was a 
stampede on every floor. The foremen were cool-headed, and directed the 
exodus like drill masters. They checked the panic sufficiently to avert what 
might have been a worse calamity than the fire itself, and in a few minutes 
every employee was safe out of the building. The origin of the fire was peculiar. 
It started on the sixth floor where the spinners of the Campbell Company were 
at work. And in a moment — like a flash of lightning from a clear sky — shot 
two flashes of flame from the head of the mule. The operators in the room gave 
the alarm, and the fate of the building was turned over to the firemen who 
arrived very quickly upon the scene. The employees had turned on three 
streams before, the engines arrived, but they were ineffective. Three engines 
answered to the first alarm, and a second soon called out another trio of engines. 
By this time the flames were eating through the roof, and smoke and fire belched 
from a score of windows on the Schuylkill and Canal fronts. Detachments from 
Companies Nos. 30 and 16 were sent across the bridge in front of the burning 
end of the mill. 

Two ladders were hoisted to the sixth floor and a dozen men scrambled 
up with lines of hose. They entered the building and were playing on the 
flames when a warning crj' came from men on the bridge above. The wall was 
bulging in, and a crack ran athwart it. The men hurried out, looked around, 
then Foreman Snyder, of No. 16, and Fireman Carter, of No. 30, returned to 
the burning floor. Their comrades down the ladder shouted, ''For God's sake, 
come out !" A fireman was near the top of the ladder and repeated the cry. It 
was heard, but too late; the firemen below and the anxious thousands across the 
Canal saw a man spring to the window; one leg was thrown over the wall and a 
hand reached for the ladder; then the roof fell in with a mighty crash, and the 
wall to the sixth floor went down with it. In a few minutes the air cleared and 
the crowd peering upward saw a hand waving from the base of the window 
where the men were last seen. A great shout went up, and in an instant the 
firemen had ladders up from the bridge to the broken wall. The ladder on 
which the men had first ascended rested on the ground on the edge of the Canal. 
When the wall fell a fireman who was near the top had been knocked from his 
perch and fell fully forty feet. When the ladder had been erected, the firemen 
found Carter, who was conscious, and beneath him was foreman Snyder; the 
latter was dead. Carter calmly told his rescuers how he had made a spring for 
the window and was half way out when Snyder caught him by the leg. Then 
came the crash. A heavy iron girder had pinioned Snj^der's body against 
Carter's leg and the wall; the corpse of the foreman held his leg as in a vise. 
He was astride the wall. Beneath him on one side was a roaring furnace of 
fire. On the other side was the Canal on the hard ground, forty feet below. 





You are welcome to come and see how Soap is made at our Factory. 
"No connection with any other concern." • 


Office 24:8 North Eighth Street, 




Brass Railings, Signs, Etc. 


But he had neither alternative. It seemed to him, as he said afterwards in the 
hospital : "I thought I would have to sit there until the flames came up and 
burned the life out of me." 

The two rescuers first tried to pry the girder away from the corpse to 
liberate Carter, but this proved hopeless. An examination showed that the 
only hope of rescuing Carter alive was to remove the bricks beneath him; this 
was slow and tedious work but they went at it with a will. Short bars and picks 
were sent up to the workers on the wall, and the bricks fell below at long and 
painful interv^als. The intense heat and smoke exhausted the men quickly and 
three relays had to be put to work in quick succession. Metzler and Clayton 
worked for an hour, and then gave up from sheer exhaustion. A dozen men at 
the foot of the ladder were eager to take their places. The next relay consisted 
of Foreman Leithead, of No. 19, and Hoseman Mclntryre, of No. 27. These 
men worked until they were exhausted; then another ladder was put up and six 
men went to work. It was 4.40 o'clock when the wall fell. Just one hour and 
fifty minutes later two firemen were seen to stand erect on the wall, outlined 
against the black sky that was made lurid by the glare from the furnace beneath. 
These two figures waved their arms aloft — it was the signal that Carter was 
saved. Down on the Canal bank, on the housetops facing the river, on every 
street and house of terraced Manayunk, were hundreds of faces looking for that 
signal, and when it came, a shout went up that almost shook the hills, and only 
died away when the firemen began the descent of the ladder with the liberated 
man. Then began the work of recovering the body of the dead foreman; this 
was soon accomplished by rigging up an improvised derrick at the place where 
Carter had been dug out. The girder was raised, and the dead fireman was 
carried down the ladder, placed on a stretcher and taken to the Sixteenth Police 
Station House, after which it was removed to the engine house, at Fifty-second 
street and Lancaster avenue. The casualties at this fire were as follows : 

Charles Snyder, 45 years old, foreman of Engine Company No. 16, dead. 
Edward Schofield, hoseman, 37 years old, of Engine Company, No. 30; com- 
pound fracture of left leg, severe scalp wounds, incised wounds of face. John 
Colflesh, hoseman of Company No. 16, shock and internal injuries. John 
Leithead, a foreman of Company No. 19; shock and exhaustion. Hoseman 
Fraime; of Company No. 27; shock and strain of back and head cut. Charles 
Hoskins, Company No. 16; burned about face and hands. William Spencer, 
Company No. 16; burned about the face and hands. Joseph Carter, Company 
No. 30; shock and bruises. 

Charles D. Snyder was a native of Philadelphia. He joined the fire 
department in 1876, being placed as a stoker on Engine Company No. 43, 
remaining there until changed to the same position on No. 20. He was then 
promoted to the position of ladderman, and from there to driver of Chemical 
Engine No. 2. His next promotion was that to No. 16, where he was made 
foreman, taking the place of George Evans. He was married, but had no 
family. His widow was the first to receive benefit from the Firemen's 
Pension Fund. Snyder was a man of fine physique and was noted for his 

Liverpool and London and Globe 
Insurance Company. 

Total Assets, over 

Fire Reserve 

Total Losses Paid 

U. S. Assets 


Z^ Losses Paid in U. S. 

Nos. 331 to 337 Walnut Street, 

ATWOOD SMITH, Ceneral Agent. 


The Masonic Temple Fire, March 9th, 1819. 


During the year 1890, Air. George Nallinger was appointed Assistant 
Engineer, to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of William F. Mooney; 
this went into effect February 5th, 1891. Five new Silsby Engines were pur- 
chased and placed in service during the 3'ear, and No. 35 Engine Company was 
organized and located at 3360 Ridge avenue. 

The year 1890 will long be remembered by members of the Philadelphia 
Fire Department — as, after years spent in fruitless endeavor, the friends of the 
Firemen's Pension Fund had the satisfaction of witnessing the Fund firmly 
established, and on such a basis that proved beyond a doubt that with the 
liberal patronage, which was sure to follow the organization of such a worthy 
cause, that it had come to stay. The first meeting was held on January loth, 
1890 ; on July ist, 1890, the Constitution, By-Eaws and Charter were adopted. 
The following officers were elected to serve for the ensuing year : 

President, Hon. William S. Stokley; vice-president, James C. Baxter, Jr.; 
secretary, James F. McGarity; treasurer, John R. Cantlin; board of directors, 
Miles McGehean, Joseph W. Hart, Abraham E. Eacy, Joseph McQuade, William 
J. Black, Henry Hicks, Samuel Kidd, George Nallinger, John McCabe, Michael 
Walsh and Edward A. Waters. 

Mr. Stokley resigned the presidency April 7th, 1891. 

Constitution and By-Eaws of The Firemen's Pension Fund 

OF Phii,adelphia. 


Article I. — The name, style and title of this association shall be The 
Firemen's Pension Fund of Philadelphia. 

Article II. — The object of this association shall be the accumulation of 
a permanent fund, from the monthly dues of its members, legacies, bequests, 
gifts and other sources, for the purpose of placing on the pension list such 
members as may be retired from the rolls of the Fire Bureau on account of 
chronic ailments, permanent disability through accident, or by term of service, 
and for the pension of widows and orphans of members who may be killed or 
who may die from injuries received, whilst in the discharge of their duties. 

Article III. — Section i. — The only persons eligible to membership 
(except as provided for in Section 2 of this Article), shall be the Chief Engineer. 
District Engineers, and members of the different Companies who are enrolled 
as Uniformed Members of the Fire Bureau. 

Section 2. — Any citizen may be elected a Eife Member bj' paying the sum 
of twenty-five dollars, and shall receive from the Secretary a certificate of such 
membership, with the seal of the association attached. Eife Members shall be 
eligible to any office, but shall derive no benefits from the pension fund. 

Sectiofij. — All persons specified in Section i of this Article shall have 
the privilege of becoming members of this association at the time of the 
adoption of its Constitution and By-Eaws. who do not avail themselves 
of this privilege, but who may afterwards be desirous of membership, shall pay 
all back dues and undergo an examination by the Examining board; and should 


Making our own Trusses, Belts, etc., at wholesale, we are 




That is the reason we are selling Trusses, for which others charge Ten 
(jpio.oo) Dollars for Five ($5.00) Dollars. 

Of the scores of Thousands 

of Cases we have Fitted, we 

have not Failed in one. 

superior to all. Elastic Abdominal Belts, Stockings, etc., at about 
half others' prices. i^^^Competent Lady attendant. 

The Hastings Truss Co, 



i^^:^^^^^^:^^^^^-^^^^^ ^^-^^i^-^^^:^^-^^^:^;^^ 


the report of the Examining Board be unfavorable, such report shall disbar 
them from ever after becoming members of this association. 

Article IV. — Section i. — The officers of this association shall consist of 
a President, Vice-President, Secretar}^ Treasurer and eleven Directors, who 
shall be nominated at the annual meeting in December, and elected at an 
adjourned meeting to be held in the month of January following. The Officers 
and Directors thus elecled shall constitute the Board of Control, and all the 
powers and immunities of this association shall be vested in them for the direc- 
tion and management of its business unless otherwise ordered by the association. 
A majority of the Board of Control shall constitute a quorum for the transaction 
of business. 

Section 2. — The Board of Control shall meet on the first Tuesday of every 
month, for the transaction of all business connected with the welfare of the 

Section 3. — The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall 
be eligible to successive elections; but no Director shall be eligible to two suc- 
cessive terms, and but one Director shall be elected from the same Company. 

Article V. — Section i. — The funds of this association shall not be used 
for any purpose whatever, except as provided for in Article II of this Con- 

Section 2. — All deeds, agreements, or other instruments of writing, to 
which this association shall be a party, shall be drawn in the name of "The 
Firemen's Pension Fund of Philadelphia," and all moneys must be deposited 
in the name of the association. 

Article VI. — No motion to amend this Constitution shall be entertained 
except it be made in writing, at a regular stated meeting of the Board of 
Control, and not then unless by consent of at least two-thirds of the Board 
present; which motion shall lie over until the next stated meeting of the Board, 
for the purpose of alteration or amendment, after which, the Secretary of the 
association shall notify every member of the proposed amendment \vhich shall 
be acted upon at the next annual meeting, at which time a motion to ratify such 
amendment shall not prevail unless it receives the sanction of at least two- thirds 
of the members present. If adopted, such amendment shall not go into effect 
until approved by one or more of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of 
the City of Philadelphia. Then, and not until then, shall it become a part of 
this Constitution. 


Article I. — Section i . — The stated meetings of this association shall be 
held on the first Wednesday of June and December, at 8 o'clock p. m. 

Section 2. — Special meetings may be called by the President at his own 
option, and he shall call such meetings at the written request of ten members. 

Article II. — Sectiofi i. — At the annual meeting in December of. each 
year, there shall be nominated candidates for President, Vice-President, Secre- 
tary, Treasurer and Directors, and said meeting in December shall adjourn until 
the first Wednesday in January, at 8 o'clock p. m., when shall be elected from 
the number nominated in December, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, 
Treasurer and eleven Directors. 







f @li, II 


S"^77".^f^IsrsoaiT and. aT-^SIZEie SXS. 



Brid^sbijr^ Breu/^ry, 

Brewers and Bottlers, 

lSr*iclge a^rxd X^To^lli^er* {St* 



Sectio7i 2. — All elections for Officers and Directors shall be by ballot, and 
such Officers and Directors shall hold their respective offices until their suc- 
cessors are duly chosen. 

Section 3. — In the election for Officers, and on all proposed amendments 
to this Constitution and By-L,aws, every member shall have the right to vote by 

Artici^E III, — Section i. — The President shall preside at all meetings of 
the association and Board of Control, and sign all orders on the Treasurer after 
they are signed by the Secretary and countersigned by three members of the 
Board of Control. 

Section 2 — The^ Vice-President, in- the absence of the President shall 
perform all the duties required of the President. 

Section 3 — It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep a true and correct 
account of all moneys belonging to the Pension Fund which may come into his 
hands, and all disbursements of the same, and to make a report of the condition 
of the treasury to the Board of Control semi-annually, at the regular stated 
meetings in June and December of each year, and oftener if requested by the 
Board of Control. He shall not disburse any money except upon an order 
signed by the President and Secretary and countersigned by three members of 
the Board of Control, and issued by order of the Board. He shall invest the 
money in his hands from time to time in such manner as the Board of Control 
may determine. 

Section 4. — It shall be the duty of the Secretary to sign all orders on the 
Treasurer; keep a true and correct account of all moneys coming into his hands, 
pay the same promptly to the Treasurer and take his receipt therefor, and keep 
a complete record of the proceedings of all meetings of the association and 
Board of Control, 

Sections. — The Secretary and Treasurer shall give security for the faithful 
performance of their duties, in such amounts as may be determined upon by the 
Board of Control. 

Section 6. — The Board of Control shall select from their number three 
members, whose duty it shall be to sign all orders on the Treasurer, and to 
audit the accounts of the Secretary and Treasurer semi-annually, and make a 
report in writing to the Board of Control of the amounts received and paid out 
during the preceding six months. . They shall, semi-annually, furnish each 
member with a statement of the financial condition of the association. 

Article IV. — Section i. — Every member (Life Members excepted) of 
this association shall pay into the treasury, through the Foreman of his Com- 
pany, the sum of one dollar per month, as dues. 

Section 2. — Any person who may become a member of the Fire Bureau 
shall, on signing the agreement, also pay his first month's dues into this associ- 
ation, and be entitled to all its rights, privileges and benefits. 

Section 3. — The Foreman shall collect the monthly dues from the 
members of his Company, giving his receipt for the same, and immediately pay 
said money to the Secretary of the association, and receive his receipt for the 
amount so paid. 


18S^ :BvittonAvoocl St., 




Tearing Down, Excavations, Stone Masonry, 
Brick Work, Cement Work, &c. 

I beg leave to refer you to Mary J. Drexel Home, German Hospital, 
Drexel Institute, Reading Terminal, and many others. 




Place Separator as close to engine as possible, the steam taking 
a spiral course between the threads causes the water to be thrown 
by centrifugal force against the outer walls, while the dry steam 
goes through the small holes to centre of pipe. Steam can enter 
at A or B as convenience may require; also used in conveying steam 
long distances for Steam Hammers and Dry Houses. 

Screwing flanges included with each flange Separator. 


m I 

Utilize the water of exhaust steam. Save your roofs by keeping 
them dry, and avoid the nuisance created by spray from exhaust 
pipes blowing on pavements, etc. 

It should be used by all Rolling Mills, Blast Furnaces, Breweries, 
and manufactories using steam. 



WM. L. SIMPSON, Proprietor, 



Section 4. — Whenever the funds of the association shall warrant the 
discontinuance of the payment of the monthly dues, the Board of Control shall 
have the power to remit said dues; but no dues shall be remitted except at a 
stated meeting, and then only by the votes of two-thirds of the entire Board of 

Article V. — Section i. — Any member who shall be retired from service 
by reason of disability or disease, shall be entitled to receive monthly an amount 
equal to one-half the salary received by him at the time he was retired. 

Section 2. — Any member who has served twenty consecutive years in 
active and continuous service from and after January ist, 1880, can, upon filing 
an application with the Board of Control, be placed upon the Retired List, and 
shall be entitled to receive monthly an amount equal to one-half of the salary 
received by him at the time of his retirement. 

Section 3. — Any member who maybe killed, or die from injuries received 
in discharge of his duties as a member of the Fire Bureau, and who shall leave 
a widow and child or children under the age of sixteen years, said widow shall 
receive twenty dollars per month as long as she remains his widow, and each 
child shall receive six dollars per month until it arrives at the age of sixteen 
years. In case such member shall leave no widow, each child shall receive six 
dollars per month until it arrives at the age of sixteen years : Provided, said 
amounts, in the case of widows and children, shall not exceed an amount equal 
to one-half of the salary received by the deceased; and such pension may cease 
and determine at any time if in the opinion of the Board of Control the circum- 
stances should warrant the same. 

Section 4. — In case of the death or retirement of a member, it shall be 
the duty of the Foreman of the Company to which the member belonged to 
immediately notify the Secretary of the association of all the circumstances 
connected with the case. 

Section S- — No member shall be entitled to any of the rights, privileges 
or benefits of this association who may, by reason of his own indiscretion, bring 
on any injury or disease which may incapacitate him from performing his duties 
as a member of the Fire Bureau, and who may be retired for such cause or 

Sectio7t 6. — No person shall be entitled to or receive any benefits from 
this association who shall be removed from the Fire Bureau of the City of 
Philadelphia for violation of its rules. 

Section 7. — All payments to pensioners shall be made monthly, on the 
Thursday succeeding the stated meeting of the Board of Control, and no order 
shall be drawn for any fractional part of a month. 

Section 8. — All pensioners shall be paid in person, and no power of 
attorney will be recognized for the payment of money. 

Section g. — If at any time the funds of the association are insufficient to 
pay all just claims upon the pension fund, such fund shall be divided pro rata 
among the pensioners, 

Section 10. — The Surgeon of the Police and Fire Bureau, the Surgeon of 
the District, in which the member who may be retired resides, and a Surgeon 
appointed by the Board of Control, shall constitute an Examining Board, and in 
all cases which may be referred to them their decision shall be final. 





Builders' Iron Work, 
All kinds Steam Boilers, 
All kinds Tanks. 
Fire Escapes, 
Steam Engine Builder, 

Boiler Maker, Blacksmith, Machinist, 

Repairs to Iron Ships and Steamboats, 

Marine Engineering and Boiler Making, 

Light and Heavy Forgings (under Steam Hammer), 

Hoisting Machines for Builders and Contractors, 

Wood and Iron Tackle- blocks for Builders & Contractors, Gear-Cutting 

Hoisting Engines for Sale and Hire, Friction Pulleys, 

Steam Pumping Plants for Sale and Hire, Steam Yacht Builder, 

Contractor for all kinds of Iron Work, Pattern Making, 

Ice Making and Refrigerating Machinery, Pipe Fitting, 

Filters for Cities, Towns and Dwellings, Contractors' Supplies, 

Repairs promptly attended to, Pipe Coils and Bends. 

Specifications and Estimates Furnished, 

John Baizlby, 

Oflace, 510 S. Delaware Ave. 

TtUphoae Is. 1728. 



Article VI. — These By-Laws may be amended from time to time, in 
the manner prescribed for amending the Constitution (see Article VI of the 
Constitution), except that such amendments, when adopted, shall not be sub- 
mitted to or require the approval of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. 

A fire broke out late on the afternoon of July 7th, 1891, in John W. 
Priestley's carpet mill, 1310 Lawrence street, and, before the flames were 
extinguished, a loss ot gi 05,000 was entailed. The fire was first discovered by 
Patrolman Nienhalter, of the Tenth District, who struck an alarm from the box 
at Fourth and Master steets. Engine No. 29, however, was returning from a 
small blaze at Front and Harrison streets, when it was hailed by Lieutenant 
William C, Wolf, who directed the firemen to the mill fire. When the firemen 
arrived they observed smoke issuing from the basement windows. Several 
of them entered the building and found that the flames were in the northern 
wing of the basement close to the engine room. The firemen poured several 
bucketfuls of water on the flames and subsequently informed Mr. Priestley that 
the fire was out. No sooner had they left the basement, however, than some 
one gave the alarm that there was another fire on the third floor. Puff's of 
smoke followed by thin sheets of flame could already be seen creeping through 
the windows. The firemen hastily donned their rubber coats and hats to battle 
with the flames, which apparently had gained considerable headwaj-. They 
were not mistaken, for the fire could be plainly seen eating its way to the upper 

At this juncture came assistance, owing to the alarm already struck, and, 
in a few moments, several streams of water were playing on the burning building 
which was now a mass of seething flames. Finding themselves unable to cope 
with the flames. Assistant Engineer William McDade sent out a second alarm 
which was promptly responded to. The fire continued to burn fiercely, but the 
fire laddies fought it bravely. There happened to be a good supply of water, 
and it was turned on and into the building with great effect. After fighting the 
fire for nearly three hours it was gotten under control. This was the third time 
the mill has been burned; the first time it was operated by a man named Lodge 
and the second time by Priestley. The latter on the Thursday previous to the 
fire had purchased S50 worth of hose to protect his property, and remained in 
the city on the Fourth of July for fear something might happen to it through 
fireworks or other carelessness, while his family were enjoying the day at 
Atlantic City. 

A great sheet of flame, followed almost immediately by great clouds of 
smoke, burst forth from the basement of Phillips & Cunningham's oil warehouse, 
129 North Water street, at 2:05 o'clock on the afternoon of September 28th, 
1 89 1, and in a few minutes one of the most threatening and fierce fires that have 
been on the river front for years was under way. It left, as a result of its work, 
a loss of property aggregating ;$6oo,ooo and personal injury to eleven men — 
eight of them brave firemen, as follows : 

James Shenan, Engine 22, inhaled oil fumes, burned severely about the 
face and body. Edward Donahue, Engine 22, burned about the head and body. 














KTos. 325 i£ 327 Vine 


T. T^T". DE^ILi^ifiuCE, Proprietor- 

Visitors "Tcan be accommodated under the following prices : $1.50 
per dayj Board by week from $4.50 to $6.00. 
First class Table and Beds. 


Thomas Whelen, Engine 22, burned severely. Robert Lowery, Engine 21, 
burned and back strained in jumping from second story of Phillips & Cunning- 
ham's building. Charles A. Porter, Engine 29, serious sprain of the left ankle. 
Richard Cantwell, Engine 32, fell from a ladder, foot mashed and neck hurt. 
Michael Dunn, an employee in one of the burned buildings, slightly injured. 
George Filbert, Engine 21. burns on face and hands. Thomas Phillips, Engine 
21, burned face and hands. G. W. Re^molds, driver of Truck D, slightly 
burned. Henry Hartman, employee of Phillips & Cunningham, slightly burned. 

The locality is one of the most inflammable in the city — on all sides are 
oil, woolen, wooden ware, cotton and grain warehouses. The buildings were 
old fashioned, and in many cases were tinder boxes. It was a ripe field for a 
fire. A lively Easterly wind was blowing when an employee of C. A. Silber- 
man & Co., representing Armond & Co., passing along Water street, noticed a 
hissing sound issuing from the grating in front of Phillips & Cunningham's 
store. In a moment tongues of flame broke forth from the pavement. A second 
later, and the Insurance Patrol on Arch Street struck the alarm at Front and 
Race streets. It was a quick response that the firemen gave, quick as it was, 
when they arrived they found great sheets of flames mounting high into the 
skies and hissing in their fierceness. Before the department arrived, John P. 
Cunningham and three of his employees were in the building. The employees 
were on the upper stories and they gave the alarm. Mr. Cunningham had 
barely time to put his books in the safe and escape, before every portion of the 
building was in flames. Henr^- Hartman, one of his employees, was on the 
fourth floor, and all avenues of escape seemed cut ofi". Morris Burk and Jacob 
Raines realized his danger; rushing to the fourth floor of the Armour building, 
they threw a rope to Hartman. At this time the flames were getting exceed- 
ingly hot and smoke almost obscured the view of the rescuers and Hartman. 
He caught the rope and in a moment was safely landed, with no further damage 
than a few rather severe burns about the face and hands. Relieved of all human 
occupants, the building became a furnace of fierce fire, and from every orifice 
the flames came reaching out for additional fuel. 

The firemen were at work a few minutes after the alarm had been 
sounded, but inside the building were over 700 barrels of oil and they worked 
cautiously. Just as two engines had gotten into operation, and seven firemen 
had climbed into the second floor of the oil house, an explosion occurred and 
out from the building came a wave of flame \thich curved high into the sky. 
It was evident that the explosion had caused disaster, and when the spectators 
and firemen had recovered from their astonishment and horror a rush was made 
for the building. In front of it was Truck 22; the blazing oil flew over it, 
burning the horses severely and slightly injuring the driver, Robert Rejmolds. 

Inside the building at the time were James Shenan, Thomas Whelen, 
Assistant Foreman Edward Donohue, of Engine 22, Robert Lowery and Charles 
H. Porter, of Engine 21. Donahue escaped by a ladder on Delaware avenue. 
The flames shot up to where Shenan was standing, and the fumes from the 
oil rendered him almost unconscious. Whelen at once sprang to his asistance, 
and sliding down the ladder managed to carry Shenan to the fresh air, and in a 
few minutes an ambulance arrived from the Pennsylvania Hospital, and he was 





Shovels, Spades, Scoops, Coal Hods, Etc. 

Oiiice, Noff, 224 and 220 Race Street, 

Factory, Nos. 147, 149 and 1^1 Bread Street, 




234 South Fourtli Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 


HOSIERY. underwear! 


The Largest Retailers of Hosiery and Underwear 

in America. 

49, 51 and 53 N. EIGHTH STREET, 



The Hale & Kilburn Mfg. Co. 
48 & ,50 N. Sixth AY. 


High Class Woodwork for Interiors of 
Folding Bed Closed- Banks. Offices and Dwellings. 


taken there. Porter, Whelen and Lowery were badly burned by the oil. While 
this was going on, the fire had begun to shew to what formidable proportions it 
was apt to reach. The big six-story storehouse of the Jessup & Moore Paper 
Company on the North was on fire in nearly every story and Armour's on the 
South was also in flames. 

Three more alarms were given in quick succession, being the largest 
number in several years, and in a few minutes eighteen fire companies, five 
trucks and two chemical companies were on the ground, together with six 
patrol wagons and ambulances from the Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Hospitals. 
Great crowds of people had gathered on Water and Front streets, Delaware 
avenue and Arch and Race streets, and the police had the greatest difficulty in 
keeping them out of the way of the firemen. But the arrangements were 
perfect. Delaware avenue was roped off, and seven engines drew their supply 
of water from the Delaware river. The Police Tug Stokley seeing the smoke 
from Port Richmond, saw to it that the wharves were thoroughly drenched and 
in addition, furnished four streams of water for the burning buildings. With all 
these arrangements quickly made, the battle for the control of the flames began 
in earnest. It was a fierce one, and for a time the energetic efforts of the 
firemen seemed to be baffled at every point. The catching fire of the Jessup & 
Moore building served to provote the best kind of additional fuel for an oil fire 
for inside there was stored a stock of $150,000 worth of old rags and cotton 
waste. The heat was intense and the firemen working on Water street were 
unable to do anything directly in front of the two buildings, and had to work from 
the tops of the adjoining structures. Until 2:55 the flames raged fiercely inside 
the buildings and then the second explosion came. Another wave curled out 
from the building and shot up over the tops of the establishments of George W. 
Elkins, an unoccupied building at T34 Water, and William C. Hengler & Co.'s 
wool building. 

All three ot these were soon ablaze, and the new firemen who had just 
arrived were put to work at these. This was when the fourth alarm was struck 
and the fire had attained the greatest headway. The large wool warehouse of 
Jam-es D. Kitchen, 135 North Water, adjoining the Jessup & Moore building 
was now on fire. N. K. Fairbank's spice house in the rear of the Jessup & 
Moore building, was burning, and fire was reaching over to the big grocery 
honse of Koon, Swartz & Co., at Delaware avenue and Race street, and the 
wooden and woolen warehouse of J. W. Rowe & Sons, at 123 and 125 North 
Water street. It looked as if the entire block and the one across the street 
would go, and that the heat would be so great that the firemen would be driven 
out of Water street. An additional element of danger soon appeared. Fourteen 
minutes after the second explosion, another followed. Several of the firemen 
were caught in the sprays of blazing oil and were badly burned. As this last 
big tank of oil burst great streams of the fluid spurted out into Water street and 
Delaware avenue, and soon the later thoroughfare was a stream of oil, which 
poured into the Delaware river, making possible every minute the setting on 
fire of the shipping at the w^harves. All that prevented this was the great flow 
of water from the firemen, fully fifty streams being now playing. It took but a 
few moments for so much of the 700 barrels as had gone out into the street and 


Glazed Kid 






Office and Mill, 2928 to 2934 Marshall Street, 


^.J ! 'M^i 


C-"/"— ^irtS- 

E^ "^ 


Newel Posts, Handrails, Balnsters, Steps, Etc. 

Also Planing, Sawing, Moulding and Turning done to Order. 


had refused to mix with the water, to be washed by the latter into the Delaware 
and the street was soon scoured by the flowing water. 

When the flames crossed over to the West side of Water street they set 
fire to that portion of th^ buildings which faced on Front street. All of these 
and the adjoining properties were of the most inflammable nature, and as many 
of the firemen and engines as could be spared directed their attention to saving 
the adjoining property. Engine No. 2 was stationed on Front street, and the 
men who manned it soon had a half-dozen streams at w^ork on the adjoining 
properties, where they did good work. The firemen on Water street ascended 
to the top of the, and soon managed to stop the fire's further progress on 
the West side of the street, and the damage rendered the buildings was trifling. 
But while this was being done, the fire on the East side of the street seemed to 
grow in intensity. Flatnes were pouring in great volumes from Armour's, 
Phillips & Cunningham's, The Jessup & Moore building, and James Kitchen & 
Co.'s. Each movement seemed to add to the fury of the flames. All kinds of 
predictions were made by the bystanders as to what the extent of the fire would 
be, when these were interrupted by an event that might have carried with it 
the greatest amount of dfsaster and suffering. 

Exactly at 3:34 a loud report came from the direction of the oil store, 
and instantly every eye was turned toward the building. The south wall of the 
Jessup & Moore building rose above the oil store two stories, and bricks had 
already fallen from it, considerable apprehension was manifested lest the 
the remainder of it would fall. When the explosion occurred instinctively the 
firemen rushed away from the building and it was well that they did, for the 
very next minute the wall of the Jessup & Moore building cracked in the centre 
and the whole front of the building burst out into a curve and fell into the street. 
Down with it came the floors of the building. The Phillips & Cunningham 
store, evidently a stronger structure, resisted the strain from the larger building 
for a few moments, but finally yielded, and with a loud report the two buildings 
fell to the ground, a shapeless mass of cotton-waste, rags, oil, charred timbers, 
and bricks. As the building fell, a great cloud of smoke arose from the pile 
and hid the working firemen from view. A cry of horror arose from the crowd 
and a rush was made for the spot. When the smoke had arisen the firemen 
were seen around the body of Richard Cantwell, of Engine 32. He had been 
seen to fall from a ladder while attempting to get out of the way of the falling 
building. When he saw the walls about to fall he attempted to slide down the 
ladder. He was going down all right when his foot caught in an electric light 
wire. He was thrown over and fell on the back of his head. He was picked 
up and taken to the Hahnemann Hospital, where it was found that his only 
injuries were a mashed foot and a bruise on the back of his neck. To the 
surprise of everyone, it was ascertained that no one was injured by the fall of 
wall, the heat having been so great that everyone had left the front of the 
building sometime before. 

The fall of the buildings practically ended the danger from the fire; the 
burning rags smothered the oil, and as the buildings fell it left the adjoining 
properties clean of any burning timbers. This confined the fire into these limits 
and the firemen soon had the fire extinguished in the Kitchen and Armour 


For fifty years past Dr. Jayne's Expectorant 
has been gradually increasing in popularity, until it 
is now known and appreciated everywhere as a useful 
and reliable curative. It is confidently commended to 
all in search of a Remedy for any Throat or Lung 

\ ^.^l^ -^ soon yields to the Expectorant, as it overcomes the 
^»^*-U^Allcl spasmodic contraction of the wind tubes, and facili- 
tates the expulsion of the mucous which clogs them. 

13 /->V» '-t-'o ^^ subdued by this Medicine, as it reduces the 

-^ V^llV-^liiLlo inflammation, and cleanses and relieves the 
Bronchial Passages. 

Q r ^ are afforded prompt relief, as it removes all 

'^^-'^ ^ ^^ O irritating matter from the Pulmonary Organs, 

heals and invigorates them, and has thus saved thousands from 


A-> 1 Colds, Whooping Cough, Croup, and all Throat- 

^^ O ^ ails, or Pulmonary Complaints are beneficially 

effected or certainly cured by this Remedy. It is scientifically 

compounded from carefully selected drugs, and will be found, on 

trial, worthy the reputation it has established for itself as a 

Trusty, Helpful Remedy 

The Burning of Dr. Jayne's Building, March 4th, 1872. 

The firkmrn\s record. 289 

warehouses. By six* o'clock all danger of the flames spreading outside of the 
burning wrecks had disappeared and the firemen confined their efforts to 
quenching the smouldering ruins. Several of the companies retired from the 
wreck about ten o'clock. 

The fire was one of the largest that took place on the river front since 
1 83 1. On July 9th of that year one of the largest conflagrations ever in this 
city started. It begun at the corner of a small alley on the East side of Water 
street, between Arch and Market streets, and burned so rapidly that in a short 
time fiftj'-nine buildings were destroyed, with the boundaries of Market, Race 
and Water streets and Delaware avenue. When the debris of this fire was 
cleared away a large number of new hve-story warehouses were erected in their 
place and most of the building standing to-day were built at that time, including 
the destroyed Jessup & Moore building. Property was not so valuable at that 
time as it is now, and the total estimated value of the property was only about 
;J575o,ooo about $150,000 above the loss of this fire of 1891. The fact that on 
Delaware avenue there were no telegraph wires, aided in better handling of the 
fire. Here a majority of the engines were stationed, and so well did they do 
their work that none of the buildings along the river front were damaged, and 
even the frame wharf sheds escaped. While the firemen were battling with the 
flames an alarm reached them that there was another fire on Water street above 
Race street. Great volumes of smoke were blown down Water street. An 
engineer and a squad of ten men ran to where the second fire was, and found 
that sparks had ignited the cornice of the Empire Spice Works. Several 
buckets of water extinguished the fire. The volumes of smoke came from the 
same engine whose sparks had ignited the cornice. 

Fire broke out in the large woolen, cotton and hair waste warehouse of 
Burr Brothers, No. 115 South Water street, shortly before six o'clock on the 
evening of July 26th, 1891, and before the flames could be controlled about 
;^2oo,ooo worth of property had been destroyed. The burned warehouse was in 
the centre of a section composed of warehouses filled with the most inflammable 
kind of materials, and it looked for some time as if the whole square, between 
Chestnut and Walnut streets would go, but by hard work the flames were con- 
fined almost entirely to the one building. The large oil warehouse of John 
Haugh & Co., adjoining Burr Bros., on the North on Water street, was touched 
by the flames at one time, but by prompt action the fire was put out before anj- 
damage had been done. 

Reserve Officer George Jeffreys first discovered the fire by the smoke 
issuing out of the cellar in the large warehouse. The alarm was promptly sent 
out, and although the engines were almost immediately on the ground, the 
flames were quicker, and were bui sting from the second-story windows when 
the first stream of water was turned on the building. The store extended the 
full distance from Water street to Delaware avenue, and was completely filled 
with immense bales of cotton and woolen waste, over 2,000 bales being stored 
on the upper floors. On what was the secoad story of the Water street front 
and the third story on Delaware avenue the bales had been packed up solidly 
against the Delaware avenue windows, making it utterly impossible for the fire- 
men to get in that way, and they had to fight the fire from the Water street end. 

Pateut BollerH for sale. 


fill, (jpafcl, Slale aiiil all Kinds of 

No Cliarge Unless Water Tiglit. 







Builders' Iron Work 

Nos. 1222, 1224, 1228 and 1230 Race Street, 


Huge volumes of dense black smoke burst out from all quarters of the building 
and made the work of the firemen very difficult. Several times thej^ were 
forced to retire rapidly in order to escape suffocation. The close packing of the 
bales of waste also made fighting the fire very troublesome. The men were 
utterly unable to manage the bulky bales with their hands, and a number of 
stevedore's hooks were called into requisition the firemen handling the novel 
tools with considerable skill. 

The greatest efforts were required to save the adjoining properties; ladders 
were run up but the smoke rendered them almost useless, and the bulk of the 
work was done from the adjoining roofs. The electric light and telegraph wires 
on Water street were cut at the start, but those on Delaware avenue remained 
intact and caused considerable nervousness to the firemen. The hose running 
to the roof crossed the heavily-charged electric wires, and several of the men 
barely escaped severe shocks. The pohce boat Stokley, which had been up the 
river with the visiting New Orleans firemen, arrived in time to render valuable 
assistance. The fire was seen on board when the tug was up at Shackamaxson 
street, and she was immediately headed down stream under a full-head of steam. 
The visiting firemen helped bravely, and were given a practical illustration of 
the workings of the Philadelphia Fire Department. The Philadelphia and 
Reading Railroad tug Atlantic was ready to render any assistance if necessary, 
and looked more particularly to the safety of the Philadelphia and Atlantic City 
Depot, which was just across Delaware avenue from the fire. For many years 
Edward Street, occupied the burned warehouse, for storing oil, and everything 
about the building was thoroughly saturated with oil, rendering the flames very 
difficult to control, and it was nearly three hours before the firemen really got 
the upper hand. 

Delaware avenue was crowded with people going to and from the Atlantic 
City Depot and the greatest care was necessary to prevent the people falling 
into the river at the open and unprotected dock just above the depot. A cordon 
of policemen were placed around the dangerous point and the officers had their 
hands full keeping the people back. One man did fall overboard, but he was 
promptly fished out. The place was subsequently guarded with a rope. While 
the excitement was at its height a large excursion arrived from Atlantic City 
over the Reading Road and increased the confusion. 

Shortly before one o'clock on the morning of November i6th, 1S91, fire 
broke out in the rear of the four-story building, 629 Market street, occupied by 
Eippincott, Johnson & Co,, dealers in woolens and clothing, the flames spread 
with astonishing rapidity, and almost before the department reached the scene, 
the whole building was in flames, from basement to roof. The efforts of the 
firemen were directed chiefly to saving the property on each side. On the 
lower side at No. 627 was the dry goods house of WiUiams, Yerkes & Co., and 
on the upper side the hardware house of Graham, Emlen & Passamore. The 
streams from a dozen engina| were promptly applied in a successful effort to 
confine the flames to the building in which it broke out. 

Though there was but little wind blowing the flames burnt very fiercely 
owing to the inflammable nature of the goods in the upper stories. They shot 
high into the air, and clouds of sparks and smoke soared up, and were carried 

H. C. FOX & SONS, 




Druggists' Glassware, 

Prescription Bottles, 

Ointment Pots, 
Tablet Bottles, 

Nursing Bottles, 

Perfumers' Glassware, 

Cologne Bottles. 





before the light wind. The first and second alarms were quickly turned in, and 
then, as it became evident that the fire would prove a very destructive one, 
the third alarm was turned in. The first that was noticed of the fire was by 
George Washheimer, a watchman employed by the business men on the block. 
He noticed a volume of smoke issuing from the rear of the second story. He 
at once rushed out to Market street to give the alarm. He had no sooner left 
the building than smoke and flames broke out from every window, front and 
back. Before a Fourth District policeman could sound an alarm from the box 
at Sixth and Market streets flames were coming from every portion of the 
building. The frame of the iron front was swept bare of every portion of 
woodwork and the inflammable nature of the contents furnished food for the 
flames, which leaped thirty feet in the air, scattering thousands of pieces of 
burning cloth over the surrounding buildings and covering the street and fire- 
men with blazing sticks of wood. On the street the burning fragments fell in 
countless profusion. The hundreds of spectators who had been attracted to 
the spot notwithstanding the early morning hour, were in constant danger from 
the falling sparks. Ever and anon there would be a belching of a dense black 
volume of smoke, followed by a sudden outpour of red hot burning particles, 
shooting upward in pyramidal form. In less time than it has taken to write 
this the firemen had run ladders to the roofs of the adjoining buildings. After 
they had thus secured a vantage ground it was but a few minutes until Chief 
Cantlin ofiScially announced that although the fire would completely clean out 
the building of Lrippincott, Johnson & Co., the fire was under control, and 
would be confined to the building in which it started. Ofiicers Millington and 
Grim claimed that when they first came upon the scene of the fire they heard 
three distinct explosions. This was attributed by some of the firemen to ignit- 
ion of powder stored in the basement of the building adjoining. This was not 
credited by others however, because of the fact that the flames did not get into 
that building. The firemen who were first to arrive upon the scene declare 
that the interior toward the rear of the building looked as if it had suflFered 
from an explosion. 

A force of men climbed to the roof of the building adjoining and there 
played the hose upon the roofs of the buildings toward the West and North. 
Firemen on a Hayes truck ladder in the rear of the burning building played 
upon the roofs to the east. At 1:30 o'clock despite the eftbrts of the firemen, 
the building occupied by Graham, Emlen & Passmore, on the West, caught fire 
on the roof. For a few moments the efforts of the department were directed 
to putting out the flames on this roof, and when they had succeeded the firemen 
declared that all danger of the fire spreading was past. This did not turn out 
to be true, however. A few minutes later the building again caught fire and 
Chief Cantlin directed that the persons living in the buildings facing on Seventh 
street be notified to get out. The second story of the building at No. 13 North 
Seventh street was occupied by George W. Eckardt and wife and seven children. 
However, before the people had time to make their exit they were again noti- 
fied that the danger was past. 

A fire which destroyed all the buildings, together with the contents and 
machinery, broke out in the bag and bagging warehouse of Peter Young, 


Importers and Dealers in 

Carpets, Mattings, Oil Cloths, Etc., 



Commission Mercliaiit, 

#11 mmM Isemt 

Rough Leather, Finished Harness and Sole Leather, 

Nos. 157, 159 & 161 North Third St. 




W. 2ErssE, Proprietor. PHILADELPHIA, 





flbxible; cords and cablhs, 

isro. soo isroi^TK Tia:iR.iD str.eet, 

Alfred F. Moore. Chas. C. King. Antonie Bournonvillk. 


Nos 808, 810 and 812 Swanson street, below Catharine, about 1:45 o'clock on 
the afternoon of November 26th, 1891. Four firemen were injured, two of them 
were almost buried under the falling walls, but fortunately escaped with com- 
paratively slight injury. Their names were : Richard Barrett, aged 37 jears, 
of Engine No. 1 1 ; severe contusion of back and loins. Abraham Lacey, Engine 
No 17; badly sprained ankle and contusions of the body. William Vansciver, 
foreman of Engine No. 21 ; foot mashed. George Crilly, Engine No. 17; severe 
contusions of the head and body and internal injury. 

The fire was caused by the explosion of the back connection of the 
engine in the basement. It being Thanksgiving Day most of the employees at 
Peter Young's warehouse were not at work. Chief Engineer Lynn Murphy and 
Head Fireman Henry Arms, together with four other men, whose duty com- 
pelled them to visit the warehouse for the purpose of attending to the engine 
and driers, which could not be neglected for a day. Thev intended to close 
down in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at home. About 1:45 
o'clock, however, as Murphy and Arms were attending to the engine, the back 
connection blew out with a loud explosion. For a second the men were too 
startled to understand what had happened; then the steam burst into the fire-box 
and drove the flames out and upward, compelling Arms and Murphy to fly tor 
their lives, without even time to stop the engine or put on their coats. As they 
rushed out of the basement they shouted to the men who were attending to the 
driers on the first floor, and there was a general stampede to the street. Before 
the men had escaped from the building the floor which is built of yellow pine, 
had caught fire, and the next minute the bales of bagging stored there were 
alight. One of the men ran to the fire-alarm, but before the fire department 
could reach the scene the whole inside of the building was in flames. As soon 
as the firemen; who answer to a first alarm in that district, arrived they saw 
that the fire was beyond their control, and immediately sent out a second alarm. 
By this time the roof was on fire, and shortly after fell in with a loud crash, 
giving the flames vent and enabling them to flare up in one solid mass as they 
were fed by the falling timbers. As the roof fell in Richard Barrett, who 
was directing a hose from the loof of the adjoining building, a one-story ware- 
house, was knocked off by some of the- debris and received severe contusions of 
the back and loins. Vansciver about the same time had his feet mashed by the 

falling debris. 

Recognizing that it was impossible to save the building, the firemen 
directed all their efforts to preventing the spread of the flames to the numbers 
of little squalid tenements by which Young's warehouse was surrounded, and 
which were occupied by numerous families of Italians and Swedes. They were 
successful and with the exception of the upper part of the two-story dweUing, 
No 814 Swanson street, which was attached to the warehouse, no other 
property was materially damaged. The four walls of Nos. 810 and 812 Swanson 
street which were four-story buildings, were all that remained of that part of 
the warehouse, from the roof of No. 808, a one-story structure, the firemen 
were directing streams of water on them. For a time it seemed as if the efforts 
of the firemen would save the walls, but about 2:15 o'clock, when they seemed 
most secure, there was a loud cry of "Look out !" and a second after, the front 

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wall facing on Swanson street, and the north end wall nearest Catharine street 
collapsed. Hose was dropped and there was a wild rush of firemen from the 
spot. The warning was given none too soon, for the Swanson street wall fell 
outward and covered Swanson street with burning bricks to the depth of nearly 
two feet. 

As the north end wall collapsed George Crill3^ who was standing on the 
roof of the one-story building attached to the other warehouse, was seen to fall 
forward, turn a complete somersault and disappear beneath the ruins. A wild 
cry was uttered by the spectators, and a band of firemen rushed into the ruins, 
regardless of their own lives, to endeavor to rescue their comrade. All expected 
to find him crushed and dead, but he had escaped that fate, the piles of bagging 
having broken his fall. He was almost unconscious, though, arid his head was 
cut in two places, but only slightly. He was quickly carried to a place of 
safety, and then a cry of "There's another man in there !" was raised, and the 
firemen rushed back again and dragged out Abraham Lacey, who was unable to 
walk, and upon examination it was found that he had sustained a severe shaking 
and a badly sprained ankle. With the falling of the walls, the fire came under 
control, although the smouldering bags sent up a cloud of smoke which in the 
dense air hung over the scene and almost turned day into night. At three 
o'clock the fire was well in hand and all danger of its spreading was averted. 

April 6th, 1891, Mr. Rooney was appointed by Mayor vStewart, Director 
of Public Safety, in place of Honorable William S. Stokley. After serving six 
months in this position Mr. Rooney resigned, and Mr. Abraham M. Beitler was 
appointed to the position October 7th, 1891. 

These who have perused this book carefully cannot have failed to notice 
the growth of the Philadelphia Fire Department. At the forming of the Paid 
Department the force consisted of one Chief Engineer, five Assistant Engineers, 
three hundred and twenty-nine men, twenty-two steam engines, and five hook- 
and-ladder trucks. All of the apparatus was of the old style, and the majority 
unfit for service. To-day the Department consists of one Chief Engineer, 
eight Assistant Engineers, five hundred and forty-three men, forty-one engines, 
six hook-and-ladder trucks and two chemical engines. Most all of this latter 
apparatus is of the new improved type. Although there was such a tremendous 
opposition at the time the Paid Department was formed, I do not think it would 
be possible to discover one person in the City of Philadelphia who would be 
willing to go back to the old system — such is Progress ! 


CD r^«j CD 



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Firemen's Blue Flannel Shirts, - - - $1.25, $1.50, $1.75 and $2. 
Hosiery in Blacks, Modes, Browns and Fancies, - - 25c. per pair. 



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— OF THE — 

Chief Officer and Assistants, 

Philadelphiia. Kire Department. 


John R. Cantlin was born in Worcester, Mass., March 12th, 1836, and 
was brought by his parents to the City of Brotherly Love in the following year, 
where he haS since resided, receiving his education in the public schools. At 
the age of fourteen years he. found employment in a machine shop, where he 
remained for about two years, when he was apprenticed to the trade of painting. 
Before the expiration of his apprenticeship he connected himself with the 
Franklin Fire Company, of which he was one of the most active members until 
the Volunteer Fire Department was superseded by the paid system. He was 
secretary of the Franklin for nearly twenty years, as well as delegate to the Fire 
Association, and served as secretary of the Board of Delegates to the latter body 
for several years. Upon the organization of the Paid Fire Department in 1871, 
he was unanimously elected secretary of the Board of Fire Commissioners, and 
continued as such until February 1879, when he was elected Chief Engineer of 
the Philadelphia Fire Department, which responsible position he still occupies, 
to the perfect satisfaction of the community at large. In 1861, on the breaking 
out of the Rebellion, he enlisted in Captain McMuUin's Independent Company, 
which was assigned as General Robert Patterson's body-guard, and to do special 
duty at Harper's Ferry, in which he served until the company was mustered 
out of service. 

Fearless of danger while in the discharge of his duty, Chief Engineer 
Cantlin has met with several very severe accidents, and on more than one 
occasion has escaped death as if by a miracle. On April 2d, 1880, while pro- 
ceeding to an alarm of fire from box 4, he was thrown from his carriage and had 
his left leg and wrist injured severely. On June 24th of the same year, he was 
again thrown from his carriage, and this time had his right ankle and body 
severely injured. On the evening of June 28th, 1880, at a fire in Thorton's 
Mill, Creese street, above Girard avenue, he fell from the roof co the cellar, 
fracturing his left knee, which confined him to his bed for three months, and 


C. J. RiTER. 

M. M. RiTEP, Jr. 

R Pharce, Jr. 

C. C. Chase, Jr. 



ill Ilil ani ■■! li^ 




^iXA. A 


/ A 


Sole Manufacturers of 'Quaker City,' 'Pearl,' 'Rainbow,' and 'Amber 

MilLs ' Wraps. 

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iB\ ^ 

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Cotton, Linen and Woolen Carpet Chain, Cotton Batting, Comforts, Twines, Candle Wick, 
Wadding, Reeds, Heddles, Spools, Bobbins and Loom Fixtures. 



Susquehanna Avenue and Beach Street, 


prevented him from doing active duty for a long time, and from which the exer- 
cise of that will-power (for which he is noted) alone saved him from becoming 
a cripple. 

While responding to an alarm from box 16, September 25th, 1884, the 
wheel of his carriage broke, and he was thrown out and severely injured about 
the body. In the same year, while at a fire on Seventh street, the roof on which 
he was standing gave way and he was again severely injured. Early on the 
morning of October 8th, 1886, at a fire on Third street above Arch street, while 
investigating the location of the fire with a view of judiciously disposing of the 
various companies, the elevator— the rope of which had burned through— fell 
squarely upon him as he stepped from the stairway to the floor, crushing him. 
He was in all probability saved from death by a couple of bales of merchandise, 
which fortunately had been left beneath the elevator. He escaped, however, 
with a severe shock to his nervous system and several bruises. He also has met 
with several minor accidents, such as falling through sky-lights and floors, being 
hit by falling bricks and boards, etc., which he considers mere trifles. 

Chief Cantlin was elected treasurer of the Firemen's Pension Fund at its 
institution, which position he has filled ever since. 


Assistant Engineer Samuel Dutjlap, who has charge of the First District, 
was born in the City of Philadelphia, December 6th, 1847. He was educated at 
the public schools, and when a young lad went to learn brick -making, and he 
worked at that trade for five years. In 1861, he joined the Second Regiment 
Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel William B. Mann, and after serving for two 
years and three months was discharged by a general order. Upon his return 
to Philadelphia he joined the Delaware Fire Company No. 4. then stationed on 
South street above Eighteenth. He was appointed to the Fire Department in 
1877, and from a hoseman was promoted to foreman, and then to the position he 
now occupies. Engineer Dunlap's headquarters are at the house of Truck D, 
319 Union street. 

Engineer Dunlap has met with a number of severe accidents during his 
career as fireman. On January 20th, 1879, while at a fire that came in from 
box 212, he was badly burned. On February 12th, 1885, while working at fire 
at box 718, the floor on which he was standing gave way, and he was precipi- 
tated to the floor below. He had hardly recovered from the effects of the above 
accident, when he was hit by a falling ladder, and was confined to his home for 
some time. On October 29th, shortly after he was able to be about again, and 
while at work on a roof, the roof suddenly fell in, and Engineer Dunlap^made a 
miraculous escape from death. During the years of 1889 and 1890, Engineer 
Dunlap met with a number of accidents, all of which were quite serious, but 
being a person of strong constitution, he was able to pull through. 

February 2d, 1891, while working at a fire which came in from box 241, 
the elevator fell and caught Engineer Dunlap. breaking several of his ribs; from 

Gr. W. C!10I!xRB, 


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Also Dealer in Fine P>uits, Nuts. I^lc. 

1 1 2 M a ikot Street, PHILADELPHIA. 


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3509 Havcrford Aveuiie, Philadelphia. 

Full Line of Materials for F!mbroidery. 

M. p. f'HILFOT. Maiuifacturers and Patentees Champion P'oldine Box. 


526 Gallowhill St., Fhila. 

F^erfumers', Confectioners,, Jewelers' and Shelf Boxes. 



Manufacturer and Wholesale Dealer in 



212 Market Street, Factory 829, 831 and 833 IT. Third St. 

Granulated Cork for Ice Boxes and Fruit Packing. Extra Fuie Cork Shavings for Mat- 
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the effects of this accident, he was confined in the hospital for seven months, 
and at the present time— although on active duty — he still suffers from this 


Assistant Engineer James F. McGarity, of the Second District, was born 
in Bristol, Bucks County, Pa.. August i6th, 1850. After leaving public school, 
he learned trunk making. He joined Franklin Engine Company No. 12. April 
ist, 1870. He was appointed ladderman in Truck D, March 1st, 1873, promoted 
to foreman of that company on July 13th, 1881, and promoted to District 
Engineer March 1 7th, 1890. He was elected secretary of The Fireman's Pension 
Fund on its organization, July ist, 1890, which position he still fills. 

Engineer McGarity has come in for his share of accidents, having made 
several narrow escapes from death. While working at a fire at Brown's Mills, 
on June 7th, 1875. The wall of the mill fell without a minute's warning, 
catching Mr. McGarity before he could escape. He was gotten out by his 
comrades who thought it could not be possible for him to be alive, but after a 
time of careful nursing he was again able to report for duty. On December i6th, 
1885, at fire at box 94, while superintending the working of his company, he 
was struck by falling glass and so badly cut that his life was despaired of. 
While assisting to superintend the extingui-shraent of a fire at box 241, on 
February 2d, 1890, the elevator fell while As.sistant Engineer McGarity was 
directly underneath of it. He was knocked senseless, and so badly hurt that 
he was confined to his home for over three weeks — when he was reported as 
being out of care, although not able to do active duty for several months 


Assistant Engineer William Staiger, who commands the Third District, 
was born in Philadelphia, June 17th, 1849. After acquiring the rudiments of a 
good education at the public schools, he when fourteen years of age went to 
'work in a brick yard. Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted 
in the Eighty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Williams, 
and served three years. Upon his return he was appointed a policeman, and 
served in that position for nearly three years. He then returned to brick-making 
but iu'January 1873, was appointed hoseman in the Fire Department. In 1877, 
he was appointed foreman, and in February 1879, was promoted to the position 
he now occupies. Assistant Staiger' s headquarters are at the house of Engine 
Company 27, Columbia avenue above Twenty-second street. Like many other 
members of the Paid Fire Department, Assistant Staiger has been an active fire 
fighter since his boyhood days. Before he attained his majority he joined the 





New York. 

Manufacturers of Wood Mantels, • 




Manufacturers of Fine Mirror and Picture Frames, 


The Burning of Dr. Jayne's Building, March 4th, 1872. 


South Penn Hose Company, and is still a member of that compan}-, which is 
one of the few old volunteer organizations that still remain in existence. 

Assistant Engineer vStaiger, during his life of service, has met with the 
following accidents : On November ist, 1879, at a fire, 1733 Market street, he 
was caught by a falling wall and badly injured. While responding to a fire from 
box I, on October ist, 18S1, his wagon came in collision with a car, he was 
thrown out, and made a narrow escape from death. On February 20th. 1884, 
he was again unfortunate enough to be hit by a falling wall at a fire from box 
67; this accident confined him to his home for some time, and was thought at 
one time would prove fatal. In the following May he was badly injured by a 
falling roof at a fire at box 42, 


James C. Baxter, Jr., A.ssistant Engineer in charge of the Fourth District, 
was born in the old Northern Liberty .section of the City of Philadelphia, on 
November 24th, 1845. Immediately after his public school training, he 
entered the upholstery and carpet business of Schomaker & Hough, and 
remained with that firm for fourteen years. He was Vice-President of the 
Northern Liberty Hose Company, which stood on New Market street above 
FainuDunt avenue, and when the Paid Fire Department went into operation in 
March, 1S71, he was appointed foreman of Company 21. In December of the 
same year he was appointed an Assistant Engineer to fill the place made vacant 
by the death of David Humphries. At the forming of The Firemen's Pension 
Fund he was elected first Vice-President, and upon the resignation of President 
Stokley, he filled his unexpired term to such evident satisfaction that at the 
next election he was unanimously elected President. 

Assistant Engineer Baxter has been scarcely less fortunate than his 
brother engineers, having been thrown from his carriage several times, hit by 
falling walls, glass, etc., and on July 2 6tli, 18 — , while working at a fire at 1145 
St. John street, he Nvas caught by the flames and so badly burned about the 
lower part of his bady that his life was despaired of. 


Assistant Engineer John Smith, of the Fifth District, was born December 
20th, 1850, and after his public school training was employed at setting type at 
Johnson's F'oundry, on Sansom street. From the foundry, he set up as a dealer 
in fruit, and pursued this vocation for a number of years. On April 4th, 1873, 
he was appointed on Truck E, and continued in that company until 1879, when 
he was transferred and made Foreman of Company No. 24. He was foreman 
but ten days, and was then appointed Assistant Engineer. Mr. Smith was a 
member of the Harmony Engine Company previous to his entering the paid 


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Assistant Engineer Smith has made several narrow escapes. On June 
29th, 1880, at box 43, he met with a severe accident by a falling wall. He was 
hit by part of a falling roof on December 2d, 1889, and so badly injured that no 
one thought that he would recover, and again be about to give his services to 
the fire department, but owing to his strong constitution he entirely recovered 
after being confined to his home for several weeks. 


Assistant Engineer William G. McDade, of the Sixth District, was born 
in Philadelphia, Pa., May 17th 1848; attended the public schools until about 
twelve years of age, then he worked in the brick yards which he left to learn 
the trade of book-binding. At the age of sixteen years, he enlisted in Company 
E, of the 197th Pennsylvania Volunteers for 100 days; he re-enlisted in Company 
I, of the 214th Pennsylvania Volunteers for one year, served out his time then 
learned the trade of carpet weaving; at which latter trade he worked until he 
became a member of the Fire Department. Mr, McDade joined the Taylor 
Hose Company No. 35; in 186S, and was placed on the Active Roll in 1S69. He 
served as an active member until the company went out of service March 1871 . 
He was appointed ladderman of Truck C, October 187 1; promoted to foreman 
August 1874; promoted to Assistant Engineer, March 15, 1890. 

He has been injured a number of times, having been hit by falling walls, 
badly burned two or three times, and so severely burned about the face and 
eyes, on November 25th, 1878, that it was thought he would lose his eyesight if 
not his life. On May 14th, 1890, shortly after he had been appointed Assistant 
Engineer, and while responding to a fire from box 145, he was thrown from his 
carriage by it coming in contact with a wagon, and badly injured. 


George Nallinger was born on the 36th of June 1850, at Stuttgart, in the 
Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, and emigrated with his parents to New 
York City in the spring of 1851. At the age of five years, he entered the public 
schools of New York City, and on account of his parents being poor, was com- 
pelled to leave at the age of nine years, and help earn a livelihood. At the age 
of ten years he entered the employ of P. D. Bertine, of No. 42 Fulton street, 
N. v., manufacturers of pocket-books, where he remained until the death of his 
father, July 31st, 1863. He then was apprenticed to Robert N. White, also 
manufacturer of pocket-books, until the spring of 1S67, when he located at 
Philadelphia. Entering the employ of Isaac Langfeld, of this city, manufacturer 
of pocket-books, in whose employ (with the exception of one year) he remained 
until appointed hoseman at Engine Company No. 8, September ist, 1872. This 
position he held until transferred to Engine 34, as fireman, on March 28th, 1889 

Stair Building and General Fine Interior Wood Work, 

9, 11 and 13 South 38th Street, Philadelphia. 



iSrowii^s C^orset At an u factor 1)^ 


Ordei-ed W^oi'lc a Specialty. 



Halfway tietween D.iiipliin and Susquelumna Avenue. 

2240 Ib'S. per Ton guaranteed. Try a Sample Ton. 

Family Preparation a Specialty. Orders by Mail Promptly Attended to. 


Designs and Estimates Funilahed for all Minds uf CABINET WORK, 

Nos. 138 & 140 DOCK ST., also entrance, 227)^ S. Second St., PHILADELPHIA 

Dealer in New and Second Hand 

Molasses, Whiskey, Vinegar, Oil Barrels and Half-Barrels, Stand Casks 
and Liquor Kegs of all sizes. 

935 S. Front Street, 932-34-36 Otsega St., Philadelphia, Pa. 

cro.Hcisr :p.a.o-e & soosr, 
i>ehi<jHvi::i^{!!$. 3ior>jii:L.ii:xts and chasejrs. 

Manufacturers of Patterns and Moulds for all kinds of Metal Work, and 


Fine Brass Castings a Specialty. S. E. Cor. 1 3th and Hamilton Streets. 

Second National Bank of Philadelphia, 

Capital, $280,000. Surplust 

Accounts of Corporations, Individuals and Firms respectfully solicited. Safe Deposit Boxes 

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he became the foreman, and on February 5th, 1891, was promoted to his 
present position, Assistant Engineer of the Seventh District. 

Assistant Engineer Nallinger has been more fortunate than his comrades 
for while having been sHghtly injured a number of times, he has so far escaped 
any serious accident, 


Assistant Engineer Charles Henry HoUworth, of the Eighth District, was 
born in the City of.Philadelphia on May 21st, 1841, and received a public school 
education. On the completion of his studies, he went to Millersburg, Bucks 
County, Pa., where he was appreenticed as a wheelwright under John Ressler. 
In 1861 he joined Company B, Twenty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
Captain Hildebrand. At the termination of the War he bought a horse and 
wagon and went into the express business. He was a member of the Northern 
Liberty Fire Company, and on the organization of the Paid Fire Department was 
appointed a hoseman. In 1874, he was promoted foreman of Company 21, and 
on June ist, 1887, was given the position he now occupies. On January 6th, 
1892, he was elected Vice-President of The Firemen's Pension Fund, 

Assistant Engineer Hollworth during his twenty years of service has met 
with more than his share of accidents — having been hit by falling ladders, 
failing walls, partially covered up by debris, and en April 2d, 1S87, while at 
work at a fire from box 3, he was overcome by smoke and heat, and it was 
thought at that time that he had worked at his last fire. 


Joseph T. Hammond, born in the City of New York, June 7th, 1830; 
joined Weccacoe Engine Company No. 19, September 1859; continued his 
membership until the starting of the Paid Department, March 15th, 1871, when 
he was appointed ladderman in Truck D; promoted to Foreman of Engine 
Company No. 26, on March ist, 1873, and to Assistant Engineer on March 7th, 
1874, He was in command of the Centennial Fire Department during the 
Exposition, then returned to his position in the Department when the Exposi- 
tion closed. He was so badly injured while going to a fire (alarm from box 75) 
on the 1 6th of March, 1882, that he had to have his right leg amputated above 
the ankle. He was appointed Fire Inspector January ist 1884; and was 
specially detailed to command the Philadelphia Firemen at the Johnstown 



\Vater Color F*a.stel« and Oil Poi'traits a Specialty. 

ESX.A.BLISIili-I> 1833. 


GEORGE MILLER & SON, Manufacturers, 

255 and 257 South Third Street, Philadelphia. 

Iron and Brass Fovindries and Sh.aftlng T^orlss, 

III to 123 Drinker Street, Philadelphia. 

Makers of Patent Clasp Pulleys, (made in Halves.) Patent Self-adjusting Hangers. Patent 

Grate Bars. Patent Bark Mills. Patent Split Collars for Shafting. Yocom*s 

Anti-Friction Metal. Machinery Castings made to Order. 



609 Chestnut Street, 604-06-08 and 10 Jayne Street, Phila. 

Shirt ^ Manufacturer * and ^ Men's * Furnisher, 


Importer and Ie/iler m Wines jim Liquors, 



The Finest Brands of Foreign and Domestic Wines, Brandies, Gins, Whiskies, 
Ales, Beers, &c. , always on hand. 

JV. JEJ. Corner 24th and Sprhuj Garden StreetA, PhUadelj>hia, 

^- ^LjrvjcDi— lEiirs/i, 


Merchant . Tailor . an d . Clothier, 




William Hagenswiler, Superintendent of Horses, was born in Philadelphia 
May 6th, 1842; was apprenticed to the trade of watch-case making, after 
leaving the public schools. In 1861, he was appointed Superintendent of the 
People's Passenger Railroad Company, which position he held until 18S6, when 
he resigned to accept the position of vSuperintendent of Horses to the Phila- 
delphia Fire Department, and is considered by his superior as one of the best 
judges of horses in Pennsylvania. He is a quiet, unassuming man, always on 
duty, and prompt in his executive work. 


John R, Hart, Veterinary Surgeon of the Philadelphia Fire Department, 
was born in Hamilton, N. J., in 1848. After receiving a common school edu- 
cation, and when only fifteen years of age, he enlisted in the 198th Pennsylvania 
Volunteers. After the close of the War, he learned the trade of glass making. 
While working at this trade he began the study of veterinary surgeon under Dr. 
Thomas Wyche; he served as an apprentice for five years under this celebrated 
surgeon, after which he continued his studies for one year in the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy. After the opening of the veterinary department of the 
University of Pennsylvania, he took a four-years' special course at this institu- 
tion. He received the appointment of Veterinary Surgeon to the Fire 
Deparment of this city in the year 1880, which position he still fills to the entire 
satisfaction of the officers of the Department of Public Safety. 



4839 Main Street, below Chelten Ave., Germantown, Phila. 



Oiled + Clothing, + Seamen's + Furnishing + Goods, + Rubber 
Boots, + Shoes -i- and + Clothing, 

No. 202 market Street, (Second Floor,) Philadelpbia, Pa. 

Sole Aeent tor <he Celebrated Cape Ann Oiled Ciotbins. 

M A K E RS, 











257 and 259 N. Second St., Philadelphia. 

Good Accommodations. Terms IVloderate. 

Kirst-class Bar attactied. 

BritgGtuial GalvaiiizBil iroQ, Copper CoiQlce \ BooIiQg WoiRs, 


Manufacturer OF VAILE& YOUNG'S PATENT METALLIC SKY LIGHTS, (under uoense.) 









All ^ Druggists. 




^^^VuNDAY evening, October 8th, 1871, seemed to have been designed 
purposely for a repetition of the horrors of Moscow, or the calamitous 
and piteous spectacle of old London. A strong wind, rising at times 
to a hurricane, blew across the city. Every roof was baked dry as tinder by 
fourteen rainless weeks. The power to disseminate and the readiness to receive 
were there, and but one spark was needed to blot out a city, and blacken the 
prairie with houseless heads. 

At 9:32 an alarm was sounded, summoning the brigade to the corner of 
Jefferson and DeKoven streets. Ere the first engine was on the ground the 
flame had enveloped half a dozen outbuildings, and was pouring its columns 
upon the city to the Southward and Eastward with the resistless grandeur and 
celerity of a barbaric invasion. A woman named Leary had gone to milk htr 
cow in her stable, a crazy wooden shanty filled with loose hay, bearing a candle 
or lamp in her hand. Stories varied as to these details, but all agreed that the 
light had been overturned, and that the building had in the instant burst into 
flames. So rapid was the progress of the fire, that in less than ten minutes two 
blocks between Jefferson and Clinton streets were all ablaze. 

The firemen, convinced of the impossibility of saving anything in the 
district now attacked, confined their efforts to checking the northward march of 
the fire. Heioic as the efforts were, they were in vain. The flames ran along 
the wooden sidewalks, and whole tenements would burst into flames as simulta- 
neously as if a regiment of incendaries were at work. The narrow streets were 
crowded with appalled spectators, half-dressed women, with aprons thrown over 
their heads, running distractedly hither and thither, and men tearing furniture 
to pieces in the furious haste with which they flung it out of doors or dragged it 
through the crowd. 

The element had the best of the battle so far. Engine No 14, driven 
back foot by foot, was penned in a narrow alley; in another moment a gush of 
flame came from the rear; and the firemen could only cover their eyes from the 
blinding heat, and stagger desperately to safety through the burning belt that 
fringed them around, abandoning the engine. Still they fought on gallantly. 
The advance of the fire was strongly defined in two great columns running 
north — one between Jefferson and Clinton streets, the other betweet Clinton and 

1^^ American Fire Brick Works, -^2:SS 

2637-59 E. Cumberland St., Philadelphia, Pa. 


Manufacturer of Best 

Fire Brick, Blocks, Tiles, Etc. 

For Furnaces, Rolling Mills, Lime Kilns, Glass Works, Baker's Tile, Stove and Range 
Linings, Ground Brick and Fire Mortar by the Barrel, Fire Clay, Sand and Kaolin by the 
Ton or Cargo. Also Chemical Stoneware for Manufacturing Chemists, Chemical Brick for 
Glover Towers. Stoneware of every description always on hand. 


Steam # Packing # Box # Maoiifacturer 

KSTABI.ISHEi:) 1839. 



No ISO N. Third St., PMladelphiM. 

Improved Pointed (Flat and Oval) Varnish Brushes, for Cabinet and Coach Makers ; also 

every variety of Lathe Brushes for Dentists, Jewelers, Silversmiths, 

Watchcase Makers, Etc. 

Manufacturer of First-Class Light and Heavy 

Harness, Saddles and Collars, 

Also Manufacturer of the Improved Hame for Swinging Harness used for Fire, Patrol, 
and Hospital Purposes, and Fire and Patrol Harness of every description. 

Gentlemen's Road Harness, Track Harness, Double Carriage Harness, Coupe Harness, 
Fire Harness, Express Harness, Double Team Harness, Plow Harness, Cart Harness, Patrol 
Harness. Light and Heavy Collars a Specialty. Horse Blankets, Fly Nets, Whips, Horse 
Boots of every description. Jobbing promptly attended to. 

No. 1302 South Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 


Canal streets. The latter led the way, and as one o'clock struck, had seized 
the buildings on Van Buren street, while the other was spreading more slowly 
along West Harrison street. 

One o'clock had just struck, and a sudden puff of the variable wind blew 
down a curved wing of the great golden-red cloud above our heads. It fell like 
the sheer of a sabre, and in a second a red glare shot up on the south side as if 
the blow had fallen on a helmet and sent up a glitter of sparks and a spurt of 
blood. The fire had over-leaped the narrow river and lodged itself in the very 
heart of the south division. The angry bell tolled out, and in a moment the 
bridges were choked with a roaring, struggling crowd, through which the engines 
cleft a difficult way toward the new peril. The wine had piled up a pyramid of 
rustling flame and smoke into the mid air. Lower currents at times varied and 
drove tides of fire athwart the great roaring stream. When these met, eddies 
that made the eye dizzy were formed, which sucked up blazing brands and 
embers into their momentary whirl, and then flung them earthward. In such a 
fiery maelstrom had a shower of sparks and large fragments of detached roofing 
been hurled into the neighborhood of the old Armory. The skirmishing was 
over, and man and fire were now grappling in earnest, where the prize was 
millions of money and hundreds of lives. 

When once the fire had established itself in the south division, the task 
of following the course or describing its ravages in detail became an utter 
impossibility. As well might a private soldier endeavor to paint Waterloo. 
Sedan, or Gravelotte. All that the writer can say is that everybody was mad, 
and everything was hell; the earth and sky were fire and flames; the atmos- 
phere was smoke. A perfect hurricane was blowing, and drew the fiery billows 
with a screech through the narrow alleys between the tall buildings as if it were 
sucking them through a tube; great sheets of flame literally flapped in the air 
like sails on shipboard. The sidewalks were all ablaze, and the fire ran along 
them almost as rapidly as a man could walk. The wooden block pavements, 
filled with an inflammable composition, were burning in parallel lines like a 
gridiron. Showers of sparks, intermingled with blazing brands, were borne 
aloft by one eddy of the breeze, and rained down into the street by the next, 
while each glowed a moment and was gone, or burned sullenly, like the glare of 
an angry eye. Roofing became detached in great sheets, and drove down the 
sky like huge blazing arrows. The dust and smoke filled ones eyes and nostrils 
with bitter and irritating clouds. There was fire everywhere, under foot, over- 
head, around. It ran along tindery roofs; it sent out curling wisps of blue 
smoke from under eaves, it smashed glass with an angry crackle and gushed 
out in a torrent of red and black; it climbed in delicate tracery up the fronts of 
the buildings, licking up with a serpent tongue little bits of woodwork, it burst 
through roofs with a rattling rush, and hung out towering, blood-red signals of 
victory. The flames were of all colors, pale pink, gold scarlet, crimson, blood- 
hued and amber. In one place, on a tower covered with galvanized iron sheets, 
the whole roof burned of a light green, while the copper nails were of a beauti- 
ful sparkling ruby. Over all the frowning sky. covered with clouds varied by 
an occasional undazzled star. 



Tlie Product of Registered Jersey and Guernsey Herds a Specialty. 

Office and General Depot, 1823 Filbert St. 

LOCATION OF DAIRIES. -PHfLADKLP/IIA-S. W. Cor. 4th and Spruce Sts. 032 Pine Sfreot, 245 South 
loth Street, S. W. Cor. 20tli and Rittenhouse Sts., N. W. Cor. aOth and Summer Sts., S. E Cor. 16th and Sum- 
mer Sts., S. E. Cor. 20th and Green Sts , 1018 I'oplar St. (Cor. West St.) N. E. Cor. Itlth and Brown Sts., 239 >'. 
Eleventh St.. S. E. Cor 11th and Wallace Sts., S. W. Cor. 7th and Poplar Sts., S. W. Cor. 6th and Buttonwood 
Sts.. 32.5 Poplar St.. 323 Vine St., :«2 Now Market St., S. W. Cor. 16th and Brandywine Sts. 

ATLA.\T/(' r.'/ri— 1306 Atlantic Avenue. 

August Jolv. Wm. Kaysek. 


705 South Eleventh Street, 


Manufacturer of ^nd Dealer in 

Furniture, Carpets, Bedding, Etc. 



MmmB # J®III©s ^•^ Pf eserTes 


.i^lso .Kefirxers of S37-njLp- 



The brute creation was crazed. The horses, maddened by heat and noise, 
and irritated by falling sparks, neighed and screamed with affright and anger, 
reared, kicked, and bit each other, or stood with drooping tails, and rigid legs, 
ears laid back and eyes wild with amazement, shivering as if with cold. The 
dogs ran wildly hither and thither, snuffing eagerly at everyone, and occasionally 
sitting down on their haunches to howl dismally. When there was a lull in the 
fire, far-away dogs could be heard barking, and cocks crowing at the unwonted 
light. Cats ran along ridge poles in the bright glare, and came pattering into 
the streets with dropsical tails. Great brown rats with bead-like eyes were 
ferreted out from under the sidewalks by the flames, and scurried hither and 
thither along the streets, kicked at, trampled upon and hunted down. Flocks 
of beautiful pigeons, so plentiful in the city, wheeled into the air aimlessly, 
circled blindly once or twice, and were drawn into the maw of the fiery hell 
raging beneath. At one bird-fancier's store on Madison street, near LaSalle, 
the wails of the scorched birds as the fire caught them were piteous as those of 
children. The firemen labored like heroes. Grimy, dusty, hoarse, soaked 
with water, time after time they charged up to the blazing foe, only to be driven 
back to another position by its increasing fierceness, or to abandon as hopeless 
their task, or, while hard at work, suddenly the wind would shift, a puff of 
smoke would come from a building behind them, followed by belching 
flames, and then they would see that they were far outflanked. There was 
nothing for it then but to gather up the hose, pull helmets down over their 
heads, and with voice and lash to urge the snorting horses through the flames 
to safety beyond. 

The people were mad. Despite the police — indeed the police were power- 
less — they crowded upon frail coigns of vantage, as fences and high sidewalks 
propped on rotten piles, which fell beneath their weight, and hurled them 
bruised and bleeding into the dust. They stumbled over broken furniture and 
fell, and were trampled under foot. Seized with wild and causeless panics, they 
surged together backwards and forwards in the narrow streets, cursing, threat- 
ening, imploring, fighting to get free. Liquor flowed like water, for the saloons 
were broken open and despoiled, and men on all sides were to be seen frenzied 
with drink. Fourth avenue and Griswold street had emptied their denizens 
into the throng. Ill-omened and obscene birds of night were they. Villainous 
haggard with debauch and pinched with misery, flitted through the crowd 
collarless, ragged, dirty, unkempt; negroes with stolid faces and white men who 
fatten on the wages of shame, glided through the mass like vultures in search 
of prey. They smashed windows, reckless of the severe wounds infTicted on 
their naked hands, and with bloody fingers rifled impartially, till, shelf and 
cellar, fighting viciously for the spoils of their forays. Women hollow-eyed 
and brazen-faced, with foul drapery tied over their heads, their dresses half 
torn from their skinny bosoms, and their feet thrown into trodden-down 
slippers, moved here and there, stealing, scolding shrilly, and laughing with one 
another at some particularly "splendid" gush of flame or "beautiful" falling in 
of a roof. 

One woman on Adams street was drawn out of a burning house three 
times, and rushed back wildly into the blazing ruin each time, insane for the 

stained (ila5S \}J\r)do\]j^ 

— OF AI:^Ilv KINIDS — 
H. J. Smith, 271 South Fifth Street, 




206,208 210&2l2CallowhillSts. 

oreigii Cheese and Delicacies a specialty 

I'l adc Mark. 

Sole agent for PfeifFer & Dillon's Imported Coffee Essence. Roisdorf Natural Minera 

Or-aLj^cl Oi>er*aL JHTot^^n^e ! 

Cor. Broad St. and Montgomery Avenue, 



Popular Prices— 25c., 50c., 75c. and $1 00. Open all the year. 

First-Class Attractions Only. Popular Prices — 25c., 50c., 75c. and |i.oo. 

National Theatre, 

Tenth and Oallowhill Streets, 

T. F. KELLY, Proprietor and Manager. 

Plays all Leading Attractions, at Popular Prices, 25 cents to 75 cents. 


Ii:st£il:>lishecl ISOO. 


Office and Factory, 130 S- Ninth St., Philadelphia. 


moment. Everywhere dust, smoke, flame, heat, thunder of falling walls, crackle 
of fire, hissing of water, panting of engines, shouts, braying of trumpets, roar of 
wind, tumult, confusion and uproar. 

From the the roof of a tall stable and warehouse to which the writer 
clambered, the sight was one of unparalleled sublimity and terror. He was 
above almost the whole fire, for the buildings in the locality were all small 
wooden structures. The crowds directly under him could not be distinguished, 
because of the curling volumes of crimsoned smoke, through which an 
occasional scarlet light could be seen. He could feel the heat and smoke, and 
hear the maddened Babel of sounds, and it required little imagination to believe 
one's self looking over the adamantine bulwarks ot hell into the bottomless pit. 
On the left, where two tall buildings were in a blaze, the flames piled up high 
over our heads, making a lurid background, against which were limned, in 
strong relief, the people on the roofs between. Fire was a strong painter, and 
dealt in weird eifects, using only black and red, and laying them boldly on. We 
could note the very smallest actions of these figures— a branch-man wiping the 
sweat from his brow with his cufif, and resettling his helmet; a. spectator shading 
his eyes with his hand to peer into the fiery sea; another gesticulating wildly 
with clenched fist brought down on the palm of his hand, as he pointed toward 
some unseen thing. To the right, the faces of the crowd in the street could be 
.seen, but not their bodies. All were white and upturned, and every feature 
was as strongly marked as if it had been part of an alabaster mask. Far away, 
indeed for miles around, could be seen, fringed by a circle of red light, the sea 
of housetops broken by spires and tall chimneys, and the black and angry lake, 
on which were a few pale, white sails. 

As many as a dozen diflferent fires were raging at ouce. The flames on 
Wells, Franklin and Market streets, marched steadily toward the northeast, 
crossing Madison street, below Wells. But before they had reached this point, 
the Union Bank and Oriental Buiding were on fire; the Chamber of Commerce 
was .seamed with thin wreaths of smoke, the low brick block opposite the 
Sherman House was ablaze, and the roof of the Court House was strewn with 
embers, each of which sank out of sight, to be succeeded by ominous pufis of 
pale blue smoke, .slowly reddening. 


The Republic Ufe Building, the First National Bank and the Tribune 
Building, were supposed to be entirely fire-proof, but even stone and iron could 
not stand such a furnace heat. The Republic withstood the fiery attack from 
the south, bnt the wdnd eddied round the Arcade Court, and when Farwell 
Hall came down, and the Andrews Block fell with a crash, its walls surged 
against the north wall of the noble structure, and in a moment its floors and roof 
came to the ground. 

But it stood the test as well as any building in the city. The roof of the 
Tribune Building burned, and the intense heat melted and warped the iron joists 
so that its floor gave way, and left it a wreck with its walls standing. Even 
the stone and iron building built expressly for the Illinois Central land papers- 
supposed to be absolutely fire-proof— failed entirely to preserve their papers, 
and was destroved like the merest wooden shanty. 





No. 54:2.- 




Capital, $500,000, 

Surplus and Undivided Profits, $3555065.30 

J. Wesley Supplee, President. H. Wilson Catherwood, Vice Pies. 

John B. Stewart, Cashier. 

J," Wesley Supplee, 
H. Wilson Catherwood, 
John H. Graham, 
Benjamin Githens. 


James McCandless, 
Solomon Smucker, 
John Hay, 
Richard H. Chapman, 

Albert E. Bailey, 
George W. Hill, 
Wm. N. Moland. 





At the Court House, the fire had communicated with the roof and dome 
several times, onl}' to be extinguished. Finally it caught such a hold that the 
tower had to be abandoned. The great bell, which had been clanging fitfully 
all night, now kept up one incessant rattle, the machinery having been set liy 
the keeper as he descended. The buildings on all sides were in flames, and the 
streets filled with the ruins of fallen walls. The prisoners in the County Jail 
almost suffocated with smoke, ran to the doors of their cells and shook the iron 
bars with the strength of frenzy, uttering dreadful yells and iraprections of 
de.spair, as- a horrid fear that they were to be burned a,live possessed them. 
Captain Hickey, seeing that there was no hope of saving the building, ordered 
the cells to be unlocked and in a moment the released prisoners, all bareheaded, 
many barefooted, rushed into the street, yelling like demons. A large truck, 
loaded with ready-made clothing, was passing the corner of Randolph street, at 
the time, and in a moment the convicts swarmed upon it, emptied it of its con- 
tents, and fled to remote alleys and dark passages to don their plunder and 
disguise themselves. Not all, however, escaped. Those charged with murder, 
except of Nealy, accused of murdering a man on Canal street, were securely 
handcuffed and led away between guards, scowling and downcast. Meanwhile 
the bell still jangled, the flames lit up the faces of the great clock with more 
than a noontide light, the building glowed without and within like a furnace. 
Suddenly when the hands of the clock pointed to 3:10, the dome sank a 
little, rocked, and then fell with a tremendous clash and clang, while a pyramid 
of red fire and black cloud towered up for a moment, and then melted into a 
general blaze. 

The Sherman House, with its hundreds of windows, resisted stoutly. The 
flames were around it and beyond, but it stood up majestic, its white walls rosy 
and its windows bright with the reflected glare. The roof and woodwork were 
.smoking in places, but for nearly an hour the house held good. Suddenly 
a spirit of flame came from a window in the third story on the southern face; 
another and another followed, and in twenty minutes from every window hung 
out a red festoon, while great coils of black smoke twisted round the eaves and 
met above the roof with the flames already bursting through. Then all was over, 
and people could only watch it burn. 


That a fire of considerable proportions was raging on the west side was 
known at ten o'clock on Sunday night to persons residing on the .south side, but 
the fact created so little apprehension, that people sought their beds, and many 
never knew of the awful destruction until their usual rising hour in the morning. 
This, however, was not true of people living north of Twelfth street, for long 
before daybreak they were fully warned of the destruction which came upon 
most and threatened all. At two o'clock, a reporter of the Post ran from his 
residence to Polk street bridge. The fire at that time had crossed the river so 
far south, but to those residing between the river and the lake, it seemed, from 
the flames that the fire was immediately upon them. No one knew the extent 
the disaster had attained, even at that hour; none would have believed it. 


H. PResseR. 


Street Main and Gasfitters' Proving Pumps, 

Store and Factory: — 328 and 330 Noble Street, 


Dear Sir : 

Permit me to call your attention to the largely increased facilities 
of my manufacturing department, by virtue of which, and with my practical 
experience of over thirty-seven years I am in a position to supply my customers 
and former patrons with all articles in my line, at the very lowest figures. I 
make a specialty of the manufacture of 

Gas Burners and Heating Burners of every description. 
Gas Letters, Gas Burning Stars, Crosses, 
Gas Fitters' Proving Pumps, 

riumhers' Force Pumps and Air Pumps, 

Doctors' Brackets and Students* Slide Lamps, 
Portable and Segar Stands, Figures, etc. 

Bakers' Oven Lights, Stands for Glue Pots. 
Shoe, Hat and Dry Goods Racks made to order. 

Gas Fixtures repaired and bronzed equal to new. 
Regilding of Candelabras- 

All kinds of Brasswork made and repaired. 

Would be pleased, whenever you are in need of anything in my line, to 
afford me an opportunity to submit quotations before placing your orders, and 1 
guarantee entire satisfaction in every respect. 

Respectfully yours, 



From the bridge, the west side seemed all in flames. The crowd cried, 
"Is the river a barrier ? Will it stay the stalking fiend ?" The answer came 
from the flame itself. It did not cross the bridge for that had been swung open. 
It crossed the river at a single leap, and caught in a hot and destructive embrace 
the lumber yard lying south of Polk street. So sudden was its crossing, that 
numbers of persons standing upon the approach to the bridge narrowly escaped 
suffocation, and saved themselves only by a hasty retreat through the hot black 
smoke that already swept across the street. On the north side were the old 
Bridewell buildings, which were being used as the headquarters of the first pre- 
cint Police. The buildings were of wood ; in a moment they were in flames. 
In the lock-up were twenty-five prisoners. The keeper opened the door and bid 
them run for their lives. They leaped from the crackling ruins and ran from 
death with a fleetness that they never displayed with a policeman pursuing. 
One prisoner was lying on the floor stupidly drunk, the keeper could not 
rouse him. To Sherman street and Clark, to Fourth and Third avenues, to 
State street and Wabash avenue ran back the cry, "The flames are upon us! 
God alone can stop them !" That cry of horror woke every one to frenzied 
exertions, and for blocks and blocks, the people who inhabited the houses did 
nothing but throw out furniture from the homes that they felt were certain to 
be doomed. 

Looking northward the street was a fiery vista. A lot of Norwegian 
emigrants were grouped about. They were stupid with fear and had to be almost 
forced from the street. Returning as he went, the writer reached the corner of 
Clark and Polk streets, where St. Peter's German Catholic Church was located. 
To it; as to the sanctuaries in the old feudal times, the people had crowded for 
safety. Its portals were piled up with the Lares and Penates of many a burn- 
ing home. A block across, the flames were seen running up the golded cross 
that topped St. Louis Church. A moment later the church was in ashes. On 
the west of Sherman street, running from Taylor to Polk, from Polk to Harrison 
and terminating on Van Buren street in the magnificent passenger depot, were 
the long freight houses of the Michigan Southern Railroad. Those who had the 
coolness to think, thought these would save the district east of them, a hope 
that could hardly be entertained in the face of the fact, that the massive stone 
passenger depot was toppled into ruin ; and yet these brick depots did save 
everything between them and the lake. A portion of the massive walls of the 
Pacific Hotel was seen to tumble, and to the east and north- nothing was visible 
but crackling ruin— nothing heard but the roar of the flames, which .sounded 
just like the roar of the sea. It was nearly daylight ; the water supply had 
given out, but no one in the south part of the city dreamed that the water had 
ceased, because a mile and a half away the walls of the Water Works had 
tumbled upon the engines. The Sherman was gone ; the Tremont was in a.shes; 
the Briggs had shared the common ruin; the massive Pacific was a red-hot ruin; 
the Bigelow in the next block was crackling; the question was, -'Shall we have 
a hotel left?" And the people in the Palmer had the madness to believe that 
the Palmer would be saved. In half an hour, it too was a shapeless mass of 
stone and mortar. 

Duncannon Steel and Iron Nails. 






John Wister, Prest. and Treas. Wm. E. S. Baker, Sec'y & Ass't Tres. 

Kos. 122 8i, 124 Race Street, Philadelphia. 

The SportsineD's Warehouse! 


Fire Arms, Ammunition, Sporting 
Goods, Fishing Tackle, 

Birds, Animals, Fish and Reptiles mounted and all kinds of Skins tanned. Hunting and 
Pocket Cutlery, Sporting Books, Playing Cards, Canvas, Cordurov and Leather Gunning 
Suits. Novelties in great variety. Philadelphia Agent for Spratts' Patent (American) Lim- 
ited Dog and Poultry Foods, Soaps and Medicines. 

Send for Pamphlet on Dog Diseases and how to cure them. 


You can select a very suitable Holiday Present for your Sporting Friend. Come and see 
for yourself. 

Sliirts, Umbrellas, Underwear, 

Hosiery, Knit Jackets, Gloves, Jersey Coats, Neckwear, Collars and 

Cuffs, Handkerchiefs, Gent's Jewelry in Scarf Pins, Cuff Buttons' 

and Collar Buttons, Watch Chains, Chains and Guards, etc. 

Anything in the Gent's Furnishing Line may be found at the REVOLUTION MANU 
FRETZ, Manager. 

P. S.— Our own make E.xtra 5-oz. Fireman's T. U. Mills Hlue Flannel Shirts will stand 
acid test. Umbrellas made, covered and renewed. Give us a call. 

^e Thos. W. Price Co. 



Office and Warehouse^ 503-505 Minor St. 

r»ii I r^ A. I > E j^i^ii I A . 


It was broad day. The wind had not lulled nor the fir^ ceased. On and 
on sped the flames in their hurried and horrible march of death and desolation. 
Strong men who loved Chicago better than they loved many a friend, bowed 
their heads and wept at her destruction. Terror was written upon the face of 
some, despair stared from the countenance of others. Man}-, for the moment, 
believed the last day had come. 

The lake front was filled with household goods piled in the utmost con- 
fusion. Weary watchers stood guard about their little all, and hundreds of 
people, homeless and without property of any kind, were lying about exhausted. 
The last was a grievous annoyance, but the roar of the fire was a positive terror 
which drove minor considerations from the mind. From the lake front, the 
destruction of the palatial block of residences, known as Terrace Row, was 
watched with intense interest. Its burning, although occurring in the daytime, 
when the spectacular effect of fire is greatly lost, was one of the remarkable 
scenes of the tragedy. If it alone had burned, all the rhetoric at the command 
of the writers on the press would have been used in its description. 


The citizens of the north division, up to three o'clock on that terrible 
Monday morning, put their trust in the river and Providence, hoping that their 
side of the city, at least, would escape. This was not to be. The rolling 
Hudson itself could hardly have stayed the tempest-driven tide of flame which 
was hurled irresistibly to the main branch of the Chicago river. Already, at 
three o'clock, the Court House bell had tolled the funeral requiem of Chicago, 
the gas works had exploded, the hotels had succumbed. The air was hot with 
the breath of fiends, and the fiery brands that crossed the city, on the wings of 
the storm, obscured the stars above, and rendered blood-red the flood beneath, 
while they rained a lava shower on the roofs of dwellings, factories and store- 
houses — a shower that to describe would need the pen of the great novelist who 
has chronicled the desolation oj Pompeii. Ere yet the bridge railings on the 
south side of the river had ignited, north Water street was blazing, almost 
along the entire line The terror on the north side now became a panic. The 
thousands who had crossed the river to see the fire in the west and south 
divisions, came pouring back over the bridges and through the tunnel, all 
hurrying to their homes and friends — all flying from the furious enemy that 
roared and howled behind them. The noise of the exploding material, used in 
blowing up houses in the track of the flames; reminded one of the booming of 
heavy siege guns, and the commune and the reign of terror were being realized 
in the very heart of the Garden City of the west. 

When the fire had passed Kinzie street, the terror was something 
indescribable. Every available means of conveyance, wagons, buggies, drays, 
carriages, hacks, and even hearses, were used to convey from danger the 
terror-stricken people, and such household goods as they could bear away. 
Thousands, hastily summoned from their beds, escaped from their already 
burning home in their night garments. The Nicolson pavement in the streets 
was on fire in every direction. The flames did not advance in a solid column as 
on the south side, but broke into sections, starting conflagrations here and there 

TElE.ElF*MOMEl ^6S©. 



Roofing - and * Paving. 


Building Papers, Roofiiig and 
Paving Materials, 

432 ® MARKEvT ® ST. 



while the great main fire rushed upon what was left, and made havoc of the 
whole. The fire spared one corner of Kinzie street, a few houses between 
Market street and the. bridge, one elevator (Newberr5^'s) a few lumber yards, 
and a coal yard or two. With this exception, it .swept along the north branch 
to the gas works, taking every stick and stone that lay in its line. If it forgot 
anything, by accident, it would return, like an unsated hyena, and lick up the 
miserable remains. It did not take a regular course on the north side. Some 
streets were ablaze half a dozen squares ahead of the big fire. It worked with 
the wind and against it, with a frightful impartiality. It held a direct northward 
course to Division .street bridge, near the gas works, where there are some large 
vacant lots, rather damp, and without any combustible surroundings. At this 
})oint it took an oblique turn eastward, toward Lincoln park, leaving the 
Newberry school on North avenue, and .sweeping along Lincoln avenue to 
Dr. Dyer's new house, where, on that side it halted, having burned itself out. 
It left a couple of frame buildings in front of the park entrance, sparing the fine 
park it.self, not a shrub being injured. Not so with the old cemeteries, 
Protestant and Catholic. The grass on the graves was burned, the wooden 
cro.sses were consumed, and the gravestones were splintered into dust. The 
trees were withered like dry leaves, hardly a skeleton remaining, while furniture 
piled there for safety by the earlier fugitives, only served to make a funeral 
pyre. The very pest-house, down on the lake shore, was burned to the ground, 
the miserable patients being obliged to seek in the water the fate from which 
they fled. The affrighted fugitives in the cemeteries fled madly toward the 
park, while the air resounded with their cries and lamentations. Meanwhile 
the conflagration swept eastward to the lake, taking everything that la}' before 
it. By this time, daylight was beginning to dawn, and with it the great Water 
Works, the pride of the city, were discovered to be charred and unrecognizable 

On Erie street and Chicago avenue, the loss of life was fearful. The 
bridges were choked with fugitives and baggage. The wagons became entangled, 
and the frightened people either plunged into the river and were drowned, or else 
fell down never to rise, suffocated by the frightful smoke. The scene was 
enough to unnerve the stoutest heart. 

Through the hellish splendor of mingled gloom and fire, the tall church 
steeples loomed proudly against the fiery firmament. The first spire that v/ent 
down was that of the Holy Name — Roman Catholic— Church, on State street. 
The was fearful, and was only exceeded by the terrific noise produced by 
the falling of the North Presbyterian Church, on Cass street, a moment later. 
It was a sad sight to see the beautiful little church of Robert Collyer succumb 
to the pitiless enemy, and the hardly less beautiful German Catholic Church of 
St. Joseph, met the same untimely doom. And sad was it to see the fine rows 
of stately trees which formed the .sh^de of the north side streets, go down like 
grass, withered and blackened. 

Those of the north side inhabitants who lived in that section lying 
between Clark street on the west and Lake street on the east, and between 
Chicago avenue on the north and the river on the south, were the last to suflfer. 
They expected that the flames would pass by them, as they had already 

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burned up to the Newberry School before Rush street was engulfed. This 
hope, like so many others, was doomed to be of short duration. Very soon the 
cry arose that Rush street bridge was burning, while the large reaping machine 
factory of C. H. McCormick was discovered to be a blazing ruin. Presently, 
the old Lake House, built in 1837, and situated on Michigan, near the corner 
of Rush street; shot up a column of flame, which proclaimed that the fiend had 
seized upon it. 

This was the signal for a general stampede. The roughs that infested 
the lower streets near the river broke into the saloons and drank what liquor 
they could find. Many of these ruffians were draymen and wharf-rats, and their 
conduct was ruffianly in the extreme. Hell seemed to have vomited these 
wretches forth as fitting denizens of .the fiery air around them. The robbers 
broke into and sacked many houses, the inhabitants thereof being only too glad 
to get away at any price. Retreat to the north was cut off, for already the 
flames had fired the Water Works, and were burning the pier at the foot of 
Superior street. The destruction of Rush street bridge precluded a southward 
flight, and, besides, the south side was an ocean of fire. Everything was 
burned on a line with Rush street, and that was already beginning to go. 
Language cannot portray the scenes that ensued. Everything was placed on 
some kind of vehicle, horses were let loose from their stables, children were 
flung into carts with their half-crazy mothers; the lower orders were drunk, 
while the respectable people were wholly demoralized. For a time it looked 
as if the final day had come for all these thousands, for the fire was rushing 
down upon them like an avenging spirit. On most faces was depicted terror; 
on the fewer, calm indifference or detestable brutality. Women cried out for aid 
to save their little ones. Their entreaties were disregarded, or else were made 
the theme for ribald jokes by the inebriated ruffians from the purlieus of north 
Water and Kinzie streets. Happy were those women and children who had 
husbands and fathers to protect them. Where were all these affrighted beings 
tending to? The cry of "To the Sands ! To the Sands !" was heard on every 
side, and to the "Sands" everybody fled as by common intuition. 

The "Sands" have long been notorious in the annals of the city. They 
used to be infested with the vilest of vile rookeries until Long John Wentworth 
when he was Mayor of Chicago, became a justifiable incendiary, and burned 
them all out. Since then they have been almost deserted. They are that 
portion of the lake shore lying between St. Clair street and Lake Michigan and 
between the North pier and the Water Works. A more desolate place could 
hardly be imagined. The sand there had been drifted into small mountains, 
which half concealed knots of miserable shanties, wherein the arabs of the north 
side used to dwell. In most parts these houses reached nearly the water's edge. 
In a few places there was an extent of some hundred yards in width. The 
place might have been comparatively safe from the fire, only that at the foot of 
Erie street was the large wooden bath house, dry as tinder, and along the 
southern section, toward the pier stretched an immennse varnish factory and oil 
refinery, and a long range of sheds in which pitch and tar were stored in large 
barrels. All this made the situation anything but pleasant, and very far from 
secure. All this space unoccupied by houses and lumber, was on that eventful 

Julius Kbpplkr, 


Furniture ^ Warerooms, 

119 & 121 North Second Street, 



morning crowded with trunks, bedsteads, mattresses, pianos, chairs, tables, 
bundles of clothing, feather beds, people, horses, wagons, and almost everything 
that goes to make up a large city. Besides, there were numerous barrels of 
whiskey which had been rolled down from the rum shops further up by the 
dissolute wretches. 

The smoke grew more dense every moment, and the sense of suflTocation 
was dreadful. Women screamed in utter despair, while the poor children were 
stricken mute with terror. A number of people were smothered at the bath 
house. Thousands threw themselves on their faces in the hot sand, while 
hundreds rushed into the lake up to their necks The final day could not 
have brought more terror with its dawn. The great fear was that the North 
pier itself would go, in which event hundreds, if not thousands, of people must 
have perished. Fortunately, between the varnish factory and the foot of the 
pier there lay a broad expanse of sand and the people on the pier used their 
hats and a few buckets to extinguish the brands that continued to fall upon the 
structure. At eleven o'clock that morning the factory was burned out, the pier 
was saved, and the people began to hope. There was no food and no prospect 
of any. Five steamers (Goodrich's) were standing out near the crib in the lake, 
and a score"of schooners were lying to, under bare poles watching the tableau 
on shore. Not a sail ventured to approach the "Sands." The afternoon wore 
away, and„then the evening shadows were comJng to lend a deeper gloom to 
the smoke-wTeaths, when a fleet of tug boats, sent down by the Mayor, came 
to the relief of the unfortunates. Most of them were taken off and landed, up 
through the heated river, at Kinzie street bridge, while the others slept that 
night on'the shore, guarding the few household articles that remained to them. 
The wreck of home comforts lay along that sorrow-laden beach, and some human 
beings lay there dead. 

When the sun went down that Monday night, the lothof October, 1871, 
he set upon a waste of ruined homes, the lost treasures of grief-wrung hearts, all. 
that remained of world-renowned Chicago. 



In all great disasters human nature drops the mask which civilization has 
imposed upon it, and shows its true features. The bad become worse; the good 
display their goodness in a shining manner; selfishness becomes more heartless; 
cruelty more ruthless; bravery and heroism more noble, and self-devotion more 
sacrificing. We will not dwell upon the incidents which illustrate the darker 
side of human nature; a few examples only will suffice. 

One person was trying to remove valuable papers from an office and 
asked two firemen to help him, but they refused unless he paid them $50; 
the papers w^ere destroyed. Drivers of express wagons have taken $100, and 
$500 for an hour's use of their vehicles in getting distressed people away from 

Persons conveying valuables were ruthlessly despoiled of them; pockets 
were picked, and one gentleman reported that his coat was stripped from his 
back in the very thickest of the crowd, and taken away, as by some invisible 
hand, before he could discover the perpetrators of the outrage. Even women 


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and children were robbed of shawls, cloaks and trinkets, and outrageously 

abused by the mob of thieves and roughs that now came, like so many vultures 

for their prey. 

A book-keeper, engaged in carrying away the firm's records, fell fainting 

in the alley behind the store, overcome by exertion and suffocating from the 

smoke and dust. The shock restored him to consciousness, and upon attempting 

to rise, he found himself unable to stand. Just then a man was passing, and 

he hailed him with a request for help. The wretch offered to assist him for 

one hundred dollars. The fallen man said, "I have only ten dollars, and I will 

give you that !" For this amount he gave his arm to the poor sufferer, and 

saved his life. 

A girl carried her sewing machine to four different points, and was forced 

from each by the advancing fiend. At last an expressman seized her treasure, 

and in spite of all her efforts, drove away with it. Said the impoverished girl, 

"Do you wonder Chicago burned ?" 

In front of a wholesale house the sidewalk was bloody from the punish- 
ment inflicted by the police upon sneak-thieves. Trunks were rifled after their 
owners^had placed them out of reach of the fire. They were broken open by 
dozens on the lake shore, and the empty trunks tossed into the water. Pieces 
of broadcloth were torn into strips three yards long, and distributed among a 
party, who said "These will make us each a good suit." Persons who saw and 
heard these things were powerless, and the confusion was so terrible that no one 
could look out for any one but himself, or interfere for the protection of others' 
property. It was a time when the worst forces of society were jubilant, and all 
the villians had free course. The Court-house jail had 160 prisoners and these 
were let loose to prey upon the people in the time of their helplessness and 
extremity. Such an event was a public calamity, but humanity would not permit 
the poor wretches to perish there, and no means were at hand to convey them 
to any other place of confinement. 

Another sufferer, states his bitter experience and adds several interesting 
incidents : — 

His residence was situated in the centre of the burned district, and at an 

early hour was consumed. One of the first places to which he repaired was the 
Sherman House in which he had friends. He found it on his arrival there still 
untouched, but the guests were passing out in all directions. 

Among other other incidents he witnessed is one not the least strange of 
many which have been told. A guest of the house, on his way from the West, 
had with him his invalid wife and children. In the hurry of the moment they 
were overlooked, and as the fire was rapidly encroaching on the building, he 
became frantic in his efforts to save his family. The conveyances around the 
hotel were all engaged, but by paying $1,000 he managed to secure an express 
wagon, and thus escaped. On Wabash avenue the owner of one of its marble 
houses had his carriage and colored coachman drawn up at his door, preparatory 
to conveying his family to a place of refuge. Three rufiians on the lookout for 
plunder approached the carriage, and jumping on to the seat, threw a sack over 
the head and shoulders of the coachman, and hurled him to the ground. They 
rapidly drove away in the vehicle, leaving its owner to shift as well as he could 
without it. 


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In conlrasl to these pictures, there were examples of gallantry and 


Brave men endeavored to cheer downcast women with an appearance of 
light-heartedness that was far from real. Individual instances of gallantry on 
the part of women were not wanting, and the bravery of one widow in particular 
extorted the rapture of all who beheld her. She had to cheer the spirits of 
some half dozen drooping maidens, and guide them to a place of safety. 

A mother, escaping with her babe clasped to her bosom, suddenly plunged 
from the darkened staircase into the blaze of the approaching fire. Her darling, 
terrified and shocked by the quick flood of light, and partaking of the mDther's 
alarm, made one quivering motion, and died in her arms. This was worse than 
loss of home. What a burden did that mother bear through the horrors of that 

Then too, there were examples of love and devotion stronger than all the 
baser passions. It is in great disasters that .such examples shine out with a 
lustre that illumines the surrounding gloom. 

A business man, watching by the couch of his dying wife, knew that his 
books and papers were all burning, but he stirred not from her side, and ere the 
embers were cold amidst the ruins of his marble store, he saw the remains of his 
companion lowered into the grave. Everything seemed to combine to crush 
him, but he bore up like a Christian hero. 

A woman living on Ontario street, between Market and Franklin, brought 
out her two children, aged five and seven, safely, and then went for a baby. 
The children followed her back, and none came out alive. 

The heroic qualities of the firemen were profusely illustrated, and is the 
evidence of the truth of the remark of a brilliant writer, the "purest heroism of 
antiquity lingers still among the firemen of our great cities." 

One of the firemen brought a two-year-old child to a lady, which was 
snatched out of the upper story of a lofty building in the heart of the fire. The 
little thing was .scorched and singed, and when a.sked, "Where is papa?" he 
answered, "Gone to church." "Where is mamma?" "Gone to church." So 
unexpected was the fire, that the parents had no time to find their darling after 


Many a nameless hero in the fireman's uniform did deeds that day which 
in the times of chivalry would have won for him the sword and spurs of knight- 

A young man named George Armstrong, a fireman, had been hard at 
work through many hours down town, when somehow word came to him that the 
fire was sweeping along Randolph street at a rapid rate. His home was on that 
great thoroughfare. His pretty wife had held up their wee baby to kiss him for 
the first time that morning. 

He sprang away like a deer, spite of his weariness, for he must know at 
once that his loved ones were safe. 

Reaching the .spot, he saw his wife, Jennie, at the window with the babe 
in her arms. The fire had reached the lower part of the building and cut ofl' all 
hope of her escape. He screamed frantically for a ladder, and when it was 
brought threw it against the window and sprang up the rungs. 





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The flames caught it at the bottom, and a longer one was raised, reaching 
the roof. George swung himself lightly from one to the oilier, and soon touched 
the eaves. Quick as lightning he ran along the already- hot slating, opened the 
sky-light and called, "Jennie, darling, come up quickly. You will be safe up 
here." She had fainted when she heard the ladder go crashing down, for she 
imagined her brave young husband had fallen a victim to the sea of fire below, 
and now, hearing his voice calling her far up in the dim space, she thought him 
in heaven, and that she and baby would soon join him there. But .some 
blind instinct led her to clamber up as fast and far as possible, and soon the fresh 
air ki.ssed her hot, blind eyes, and .she found her.self in her husband's arms. 
As he took the babe from her, she whispered. "We can die together, George, 
Thank God for that !" Just then a stream of water from a well-directed hose 
fell upon them, and, and through the drenching torrent a brother fireman came 
and guided them down the .slender swaying ladder, down past windows where 
the glass was crackling and the flames playing in and out like the forked 
tongues of ten thousand devils, in safety to the firm pavement. And though 
they had nothing left but each other, no happier people were living, that day, 
than George Armstrong and his sweet little wife, in the humble shanty on the 
lake shore. 

Robert T. Lincoln, son of the late President, entered his law-oifice about 
daylight on Monday morning, after the flames had attacked the building, 
he opened the vault, and piled upon a table-cloth the most valuable papers, 
then slung the pack over the shoulder, and' escaped amid a .shower of falling 

.In the turmoil and terror engendered by the conflagration it is not strange 
that almost ludicrous cases of forgetfulness and mental distraction should 
occur. The following incident is well authenticated : Mrs. , the house- 
keeper of a prominent hotel, had made up her mind to leave the city a few days 
before the fire. She had not drawn her salary for some time, and it amounted 
to $1,000. On Saturday this amount was handed to her by the proprietor. The 
boarders at the same time got up a testimonial, amounting to Si 50, and presented 
her with the money that evening. She deposited the greenbacks under the 

earpet in a corner of her room. When the fire was raging, Mrs. rushed 

to her room and succeeded in saving a favorite canary bird; but forgot all about 
the money. 

The old perverse absurdity which leads frantic humanity, on such 
occasions, to perpetrate deliberate stupidities, had a thousand illustrations. 
Looking-glasses were hurled out windows, and parlor tongs carefully carried 
down stairs. Lap-dogs and favorite cats were securely packed in baskets and 
laid where the fire would soonest reach them. Feather-beds were lugged down 
stairs while the flames were melting the contents of jewel cases. One mother 
deposited her babe upon the floor of her burning dwelling and hurried out with 
a roll of carpeting. 

One of the most distressing features of the scene was the separations 
which took place in families. Mothers could have been heard calling for their 
children, husbands for their wives, and lovers for their sweethearts — all 
separated in the terrible race for life or death. A family had just rushed from 

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a burning building when the wife rushed to the husband and inquired in an 
agonized tone, "Where is our baby?" In the hurry it been left behind. 
The father flew back half distracted, and snatched the precious bundle. A little 
remote from the raging flames they undid the carefully guarded parcel and 
found, horrid to relate, nothing but a pillow. Their loved babe had been left to 
the flames. 

At the intersection of Randolph and Market streets .stood a large building, 
rented in separate rooms, and suites of offices. On the fourth floor lived the 
janitor with his wife and four children, and orphan niece, Marie. When the 
flames reached the building the family rushed oiit upon the roof, but all escape 
was cut off. The mother sank down with the babe in her arms, smothered by 
a blinding cloud of smoke and flame and expired. The father stood up strong 
and resolute, lifted the little boy of four years to his shoulder, placed a 
protecting arm about his two little daughters, and strove to find his way to a 
neighboring roof, from which a stairway descended. His efforts were in vain. 
The little girls ran back and fell beside the mother. Then a great cry of 
anguish went up from the father's heart, and even above the roar of gale and 
flame his voice was heard by the people below, and piteous, helpless hands, 
reached out in futile sympathy, as if to help him. Then through the smoke 
and flame, to the very edge of the building, the poor man rushed, and for a 
moment lifting eyes and hands toward heaven as if in silent prayer, he sprang 
out from the burning roof and came downward. The awe-struck people gazed 
upon a shapeless mass on the pavement, which for a moment, appeared very 
still and lifeless, and then a bright little head showed itself, and a child's voice 
cried out "You hurt my w'ist, papa. Li f. your head up — dat a good papa." 
The father was dead but the child onl}' slightly bruised, and was well 
cared for. 

A family who had spent several years abroad, and collected many 
valuable works of art and souvenirs of their journeys, were driven from one 
place to another, and finally took refuge in a stable. The proprietor begged 
them to take his carriage and drive it off to save it. In this they escaped 
several miles to a place of safety, having nothing left but what they wore upon 
their persons. 

On the battlements of one of the high blocks in Randolph street a man 
was seen standing and wildly gesticulating, with the terrible flames raging and 
roaring through all the departments beneath, and escape entirely cut off. All 
who saw him knew that he was doomed to a terrible death, for rescue was out 
of the question. Still he gesticulated, pointed in various directions, and was 
evidently trying to make the people understand some plan of relief that he 
thought feasible, but his voice was drowned in the tremendous roar of wind and 
flames, and no one moved to attempt what everybody knew would prove utterly 
resultless for good. At length the great walls became unsteady, .swerved for a 
moment in mid air, and then came down with a crash and weight that shook 
the ver}' ground, and the life of him who a moment before had stood there 
imploring help was crushed out in the glowing furnace of destruction. 

A similar incident is reported of two men on the top of Armour's block, 
who found themselves completely environed by the flames. They tested the 


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full strength of their lungs in useless shouts, threw up their hands, pointed 
hither and thither, ran to and fro, and finally seemed intent on plunging head- 
long to the pavement. It was impossible to reach them, but at length they 
stood on the parapet at the back part of the building, whence the roof of an 
adjoining structure, some thirty feet below, seemed to offer means of escape. 
The flames were eagerly pressing upon them, giving but little time for con- 
sideration, and so, hand in hand, they jumped. It was a fearful leap, and 
badly calculated. They came down with a terrible crash, were badly bruised, 
and lay senseless and bleeding until rescued by their friends. 

A gentleman, rushing past a drug store at the top of his speed, was 
suddenly overwhelmed by the explosion of some combustible stuff, and deluged 
with liquid flames Death was instantaneous. 

In one of the larger buildings on Randolph street, a portion of the upper 
floors of which were used for lodging rooms, men were seen dodging about from 
window to window, the untold agony depicted on their features, after the 
basement and first floor had become like ' 'a furnace seven times heated." Two 
were rescued at great risk before the walls began to totter, but just as it began 
to seem possible ,to those outside that all might be saved, the huge walls 
swayed to and fro, and came down so heavily that they smothered the flames 
they had fed but a moment before, and buried several lives in the smouldering 

We take the following vividly sketched incident from the Chicago 
Tribune. While Madison street west of Dearborn, and the west side of Dearborn 
were all ablaze, the spectators saw the lurid light appear in the rear windows 
of Speed's Block. Presently a man who had apparently taken time to dress 
himself leisurely appeared on the extension built up to the second story of two 
of the stores. He coolly looked down the thirty feet between him and the 
ground, while the excited crowd first cried "jump ! " and then some of them 
more considerately looked for a ladder. A long plank was presently found and 
answered the same as a ladder, and it was placed at once against the building, 
down which the man soon after slid. But while the preparations were going 
on there suddenly appeared another man at a fourth-story window of the 
building below, which had no projection, but was flush from the top to the 
ground— four stories and a basement. His escape by the stairway was 
evidently cut off, and he looked despairingly down the fifty feet between him 
and the ground. 

The crowd grew almost frantic at the sight, for it was only a choice of 
deaths before him — by fire or by being crushed to death by the fall. Senseless 
cries of "jump!" "jump!" went up from the crowd— senseless, but full of 
sympathy, for the sight was absolutely agonizing. 

Then for a minute or two he disappeared, perhaps even less, but it 
seemed so long a time that the supposition was that he had fallen, suffocated 
with the smoke and heat. But no, he appears again. First he throws out a 
bed ; then some bedclothes, apparently; why, probably even he does not know. 
Again he looks down the dead, sheer wall of fifty feet below him. He hesitates 
— and well he may — as he turns again and looks behind him. Then he mounts 
to the window-sill. His whole form appears naked to the shirt, and his white 




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limbs gleam against the dark wall in the bright light as he swings himself below 
the window. Somehow — how, none can tell — he drops and catches upon the 
top of the window below him of the third-story. He looks and drops again, and 
s^eizes the frame with his hands, and his gleaming body once more straightens 
and hangs prone downward, and then drops instantly and accurately upon the 
window-sill of the third-story. A shout, more of joy than applause, goes up 
from the breathless crowd, and those who had turned away their heads, not 
bearing to look upon him as he seemed about to drop to sudden and certain 
death, glanced up at him once more with a ray of hope at this daring and 
skillful feat. Into this window he crept to look, probably for a stairway, but 
appeared again presently, for here was the only avenue of escape, desperate 
and hopeless as it was. 

Once more he dropped his body, hanging by his hands. The crowd 
screamed, and waived to him to swing himself over the projection from which 
the other man had just been rescued. He tried to do this, and vibrated like a 
pendulum from side to side, but could not reach far enough to throw himself 
upon the roof. Then he hung by one hand, and looked down ; raising the other 
hand he took a fresh hold, and swung from side to side once more to reach the 
roof. In vain ; again he hung motionless by one hand, and slowly turned his 
head over his shoulder and gazed into the below him. Then gathering 
himself up he let go his hold, and for a second a gleam of white shot down full 
forty feet, to the foundation of the basement. Of course it killed him. He was 
taken to a drug store near by, and died in ten minutes. 

A party which had crossed Ogden Slip, and taken refuge in the light- 
house, found themselves hemmed in on all sides by the fire except by the water 
side. The following is the account of how they ran the gauntlet : 

"Between three and four in the afternoon the tug boat Clifford came 
down the river and tied up near the light-house. Could she return, taking the 
party up the river, through and beyond the fire to the "West Side, or was it 
better and safer to spend the night at the light-house? 

If it, and the pier, the lumber and shanties around, should burn during the 
night, as seemed not unlikely, the position would not be tenable, and might be 
extremely perilous ; besides, Mr. A. was very anxious to know that Mrs. A. and 
little Alice were safe. The officer of the tug said the return passage was 
practicable. Rush, Clark, State and Wells street bridges had all burned, and 
their fragments had fallen into the river. The great warehouses, elevators, 
store-houses, docks on the banks of the river, were still burning, but the fury 
of the fire had exhausted itself. The party resolved to go through the narrow 
canal or river to the south bank, outside the burned district. This was the 
most dangerous experience of the day. The tug might take fire itself, the 
wood-work of which had been blistered with heat as she came down ; the 
engine might get out of order and the boat become unmanageable after she got 
inside the line of fire, or she might get entangled in the floating timber and 
debris of the fallen bridge. However, the party determined to go. A full 
head of steam was gotten up, the hose was attached to the engine so that if the 
boat or clothes caught it could be put out. The children and ladies were 
placed in the pilot-housi, and the windows shut, and the boat started. The 

Importer and 

Wholesale Dealer 
in China, Glass 

and Oueensware. 

3 ^v 

Window Guards, Gratings, 
Grills, Tree Boxes, 
Bedsteads, &c. 

Fire Escapes I 

Iron Fences ! 

Glass and Metal Oil Cups for Shafting. 


Muckle's Envelope Opener. 


503 & 505 Cherry Street. 





Jl^^^ Premiums 5 to SO Cents per Week. 

EDGAR C. WEST, Superintendent, 


Samuel Humphrey. Established ifi i860. John W. Martin. 


Wholesale Dealers in 

PiNe Whiskies, 


Importers of Wines, Brandies & Gins, 

No. 401 N. Third St., and 237 and 239 Callowhill St., 

Telephone 2935- i^ el:pi3:i^. 

Sole Proprietors of the Celebrated Bouquet and Old Anchor Pure Rye Whiskies. 


men crouched clear to the deck behind the but-works, and with a full head of 
steam the tug darted past the abutments of Rush street bridge, and as they 
passed State street bridge the pilot had to pick his way carefully among fallen 
and floating timber. The extent of the danger now became obvious, but it was 
too late to retreat. As the boat passed State street the pump supplying cold 
water ceased to work, and the exposed wood in some parts was blistering. 

"Snatching a handkerchief," said Mr. Arnold, "I dipped it in water, 
and covering the head and face of Arthur, whose hat the wind had blown 
away, I made him lie flat on the deck, as we plunged forward through the 
fiery furnace. On we sped past Clark and Wells streets. 'Is not the worst 
over?" he asked of the captain as the boat dashed on and on. 'We are through, 
sir,' answered the captain. 'We are safe, thank God !' come from hearts and 
lips as the boat emerged from the smoke into the clear, cool air outside the fire 

At the corner of Clark and Washington streets, in a window of a third 
story, a man stood serenely watching the general devastation, while the roof 
over his head was on fire. People shouted themselves hoarse to call his atten- 
tion to the impending danger, but he merely smiled without moving. 

"He's crazy," said one; "drunk," said another; but he appeared both 
sane and sober, and was probable inclined to tempt fate a little, and save him- 
self at the last moment. He waited too long. The heavy roof came crashing 
down through the floor, and he was inextricably buried in a heap of burning 
timber that landed in the basement, a perfect mass of glowing embers, within 
three minutes from the time the roof gave way. 


When the flames were raging, and block upon block of solid stone melted 
into nothingness, it was feared that the destruction of life would be something 
unparallaled. It was well known that many people roomed in the lofty buildings 
in the business portion of the city, and that some kept house there; but a greater 
number by far were single men and abandoned women, who hired sleeping 
rooms, and lived a wandering life, obtained food here to-day and there co-morrow. 
This class was in imminent danger of being caught near the roof of the lofty 
structures to which they usually betook themselves, and, even if awake and 
active, of being suffocated by the smoke ere they could find their way to the 
pavement. How many such fell victims to the flames is not known now, and 
never can be. Fire that melted granite would leave nothing of human bone and 
muscle, and the spirits of those who perished in the awful conflagration passed 
to the land of the hereafter amid no cries save their own, and their bodies 
perished from ofi" the face of the earth. As soon as the ruins were in condition 
to be visited, .bodies of the dead were looked for with horrible interest. A super- 
ficial examination brought to view in various parts of the city the charred and, 
for the most part, unrecognizable remains, of ninety persons. A morgue was 
created on Milwaukee avenue, whither the bodies were borne. Here they were 
viewed by thousands, many drawn to the hideous spectacle through morbid 
curiosity, others because they feared to find the remains of friends or relatives, 
who in the fearful confusion was separated from them. The coroner held an 

I^Oie I^ie^'^ OOOI3S 


PlarKel EUtK, FliOert streets, 

One of the largest buildings in the city, and the largest establishment 
in America devoted exclusively to 


The stock includes Silks, Dress Goods, Trimmings, Millinery, Hosiery, 
and Underwear, Gloves, House-Furnishing Goods, Carpets, Ready-Made 
Dresses and Wraps, and everything that may be needed either for dress or 
house-furnishing purposes. It is believed that unusual inducements are offered, 
as the stock is among the largest to be found in the American market, and the 
prices are guaranteed to be uniformly as low as elsewhere on similar qualities 
of goods. 



The Franklin Machine Works 


506 & 508 North Street, Philadelphia, 

Below Arch Street and above Fifth Street. 

Type, Inks, Cases, Cabinets, Galleys, Stands, Ktc. 

Manufacturer of Printing, General and Special Machinery. Repairing and Rebuilding 
a Specialty. 

Job Presses, Cylinder Presses, Paper Cutters, and all kinds of Printing, Lithographic 
and Bookbinding Machinery. 



inquest upon the bodies, and they were soon consigned to their last resting place. 
The whole number of deaths, on the lowest estimate made by competent 
authority, is 200. The unreported missing, together with the known dead made, 
an aggregate of t oco persons. 


The fire began at 9:32 on the evening of Sunday, October 7th, and ended 
about ten o'clock on Tuesday morning. It covered an area of 3 miles in length 
by ii-^ miles in breadth, or of 2,680 acres. The number of houses destroyed 
was about 20,500; of people rendered homeless, 110,000, Of these, about 30,000 
left the city, and about 55,000 were fed by charity. The first house burned was 
owned by Mrs. Eeary, the last by Dr. Dyer. 

The following is a list of the 

Great Central Depot, 

Palmer House, 

Tribune Building, 


Bigelow House, 

Evening Post Building, 

Tremont House, 

Court House, 

Lombard Block, 

Times Building, 

Armour Block, 

Journal Building, 

Adams House, 

Massasoit House, 

City Hotel, 

Metropolitan Hotel, 

Union Building, 

Postoffice Block, 

McCormick's Block, 

Western News Company's Block, 

Manufacturers' National Bank, 

S. C. Griggs & Co.'s Book House, 

German National Bank, 

Mechanics' National Bank. 

Commercial National Bank, 

Metropolitan Hall, 

Arcade Building, 

Merchants' National Bank, 

Loan & Trust Co's Building, 

W. U. Telegraph Co's Building, 

Oriental Block, 

St. Mary's Church (Catholic), 

First National Bank, 

principal edifices destroyed : 

Historical Society Building, 

St. James Hotel, 

Mateson House, 

Sherman House, 

Republican Building, 

Chamber of Commerce, 

Nevada Hotel, 

Gas Works, 

Biggs House, 

Crosby's Opera House, 

Staats Zeitung Building, 

McVicker's Theatre, 

Wood's Museum, 

Dearborn Theatre, 

Hoole3''s Opera House, 

Mail Building, 

Shepard Block, 

Houore Block, 

Reynolds' Block, 

National Bank of Commerce, 

Illinois National Bank, 

Cook County National Bank, 

.^tna Building, 


Brunswick's Billiard Factory, 

Merchants & Farmers Savings Bank , 

Badger's Bank, 

Illinois Savings Institution, 

City National Bank, 

Adams Express Company, 

Water Fire and Marine Building, 

First M. E. Church, , 

Sturges Block, 




Founded July 4, 1808. 

Oldest Shot Tovirer in America. 

Thos. W. Sparks, 





OflSice of Philadelphia Shot Tower, 
No. 121 Walnut Street, 


^1 ^JJ'Jtnji.x j|.i'*.x i, poc oo u [ffi 





Trinity Church, 

Terrace Block, 

Third National Bank, 

Jewish Synagogue, 

Mayo Block, 

Fifth National Bank, 

Burch Block, 

Lake Shore Depot, 

Academy of Design, 

Water Works, 

Clarendon Hotel, 

Diversey Block, 

Lill's Brewery, 

First Presbyterian Church, 

Hubbard Block, 

Chittenden Building, 

Bryant's Commercial College, 

Farwell Hall, 

Otis Block, 

St. Paul's Church, 

Academy of Music, 

Drake-Farwell Block, 

Stones Block, 

German Theatre, 

Second National Bank, 

Phcenix Club, 

Morrison Block, 

Fourth National Bank, 

Catholic Cathedral, 

McCormick's Factory, 

Galena Elevator, 

Galena Depot, 

Second Presbyterian Church, 

Unity N. E. and Westminster Churches 

Sisters pf Mercy Convent, 

Hiram Wheeler's Elevator, 

Elm Street Catholic Hospital, and the 

Dearborn, Eranklin, Mosely, Lincoln, 

Pearson St. , Elm St. , and other schools. 

Sand's Brewery, 

Church of the Holy Name, 

Alexian Hospital, 

Armour & Dole's Elevator, • 

Hatch House, 

Illinois Street Church, 

Jewish Hospital, 

Merchants' Insurance Buildmg, 

Union National Bank, 

The best authorities concur in estimating the total loss at from $198,000,000 
to $215,000,000, taking the total insurance to represent one-third of the total 
loss. This may be divided as follows, on a rude approximate : 

Loss on Buildings and Property _ _ _ _ ^106,599,000 
Loss on Stock and Plant $ - - - - - 74,560,000 
Loss on Furniture and Personal Property _ _ _ 24,850,000 


By twelve o'clock on the 9th of October 100,000 people were homeless, 
shelterless, and without a morsel of food. This appalling disaster was known 
the next day throughout the civilized world, and the responses of sympathy and 
substantial relief that came from every city in this country was such as never 
known before in the world's history. On the evening of the loth, a cargo of 
supplies was on its way from Liverpool, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, 
Cinncinati, St. Louis and Detroit. Milwaukee sent delegations with money and 
immense supplies of stores within twenty-four hours after the facts were known. 
England — never behind in the work of charity — sent money to the extent of 
;;^ioo,ooo sterling. 


When the extent of the fire was known on Monday morning, the Mayor, 
a portion of the City Council and a large number of prominent citizens held a 








The Louis Bergdoll Brewing Company's 


The Bergner & Engel BrewiDg Company's 
Tannhauser Beer, 

The Geo. Keller I^rewing Company's Troubadour Beer, 

John Roehm's Salvator Beer, John F. Betz & Sons 

Porter, Ale and Brown Stout. 

Also Carbonator of High Grade Ginger Ale, Soda, Sarsapariila, 
Tonic, Seltzer, and Birch Beer. 


TsTos, 412 & 414 DILLAVVN STREKT. 




meeting at the First Congregational Church, West Washington street, and 
organized a Citizen Relief Association, Orren E. Moore was elected president, 
and Gen. C. T. Hotchkiss, secretary, and an Executive Committee appointed, 
with two prominent citizens in each division of the city. This association went 
immediately to work and organized sub-committees, took possession of all the 
churches for hospitals, and all the large buildings for supplies, impressed all 
the omnibuses and hacks to be found and set them at work to bring the people 
in from the prairie and the Lake shore to the houses and churches open to them. 
This association, its officers, executive committee and sub-committee worked 
incessantly night and day, and by Saturday night it is believed every person who 
had suffered by the fire was sheltered, fed and clothed. 


Engineers & Steamsliip 



Agents For' 
















(^^T^HE City of Boston's horses were just recovering from the epizootic 
U\J^ in fact, the apparatus of the fire department had been pulled by hand 
i22^ for about a month. Such was the condition of the city— its horses 
down with the epizootic, its business blocked its citizens nervous and impatient 
the fire department greatly crippled, especially in the suburban districts, 
when it was visited by a conflagration so extensive that all others fade into 


November 9th, 1872, was one of those beautiful autumnal days so common 
in New England, the air was clear and exhilarating; not a cloud obscured the 
sun, and the gentle breeze, veering occasionally two or three points between 
north and northwest, did not exceed seven miles an hour. 

As the day went out and twilight settled over the valleys, a more beauti- 
ful sunset was never seen. Sick horses were convalescent and on the road to 
ultimate recovery. The fear which had hung over the city for about a monta, 
like a cloud, was gradually lifting and showed a silver lining. The wholesale 
business centre of the city had been deserted and surrendered to the guardians 
of its peace and safety, the owners and occupants of great mercantile houses of 
brick, stone and iron having gone hours before to their respective homes, with 
no warning or thought of impending danger. The city for a long time had 
enjoyed freedom from the fire fiend's depredations, which fact was universally 
credited to the vigilance esprit dc coips, which characterized the personnel of 
the fire department. But at the close of this beautiful day, the enemy appeared 
and attacked the very citadel of the city's strength, built of obdurate metal and 
mineral, and it succumbed at the first onslaught. 

At 7:20 p. m., box 20 was sounded, this was followed by four alarms in 
rapid succession, calling the entire working force of the department. The force 
of the city proper, consisted of six engines, six hose companies, two hook-and- 
ladder trucks, a chief, seven assistant engineers, and a total of one hundred and 
eighty-five men. There was some delay in sending out the first alarm; this was 
caused by the fact that Engine No. 7 and Hose No. 2, were already at work, 
which impressed the officers on that beat that the alarm had been turned in by 
somebody who had discovered the fire. Hence the largest portion of the depart- 
ment was first notified by the brilliant pyrotechnic display which illuminated 
the entire city, and the apparatus hastened to the scene. It was fifteen minutes 
after the fire was discovered by the men Of No. 7 luigine, before the alarm was 



Real Estate and 

Real Estate Securities. 

Special Attention Given to Leasing of Business Properties. 





Gold and Silver Watch Case 

General Repairing- a Specialty. 

North Bros. Manufacturing Co. 


Manufacturers of Hardware Specialties. 
1^^ N. W. Cor. Twenty-Third and Race Streets, .,^1 


Smith Premier Type-Writer 

LEADS, as it lias always done since being intro- 

FEARED by competitors, consequently maligned. 

ENDORSED by over 10,000 users. 
Send for Circular. 

The Smith Premier Typewriter Compaoy, 


JOHN HARRISON, Manager. Telephone 151. 


sounded on the bells, by which time it had assumed fearful proportions. This 
was a terrible misfortune, and just who was to blame investigation failed to 


The fire originated in a six-story granite building on the corner of Summer 
and Kingston streets, occupied on the first floor bj' Tebbetts, Baldwin & Davis, 
dry goods jobbers; A, K. Young, on the third and fourth floor as a manufacturer 
of skirts and corsets; on the second floor, Damon, Temple & Co., fancy goods. 
Opposite this building, Engine No. 4 had taken its position — although at the 
time of the alarm the heat was so intense that it was extremely dangerous to 
locate anj' piece of apparatus within a hundred feet of the actual seat of the fire, 
and was using water from a flush hydrant, the kind used in that city. So intense 
was the heat that the stone coping of the building sixty feet distant from the 
fire, began to burst and crumble, a piece of it fell and severed the suction, 
compelling the engine to retire to another source of supply. So rapid was the 
spread of the fire, that at the moment of giving the alarm, six other equally 
as large granite buildings were enveloped in flames, and the building where 
it originated was a roaring furnace. About an hour from the time the alarm 
sounded, assistance was summoned from every point within a radius of fifty 
miles, and every municipality nobly responded. Couriers were dispatched to 
all suburban towns that could not be reached by telegraph. Hose in several 
warehouses of the city was seized by order of Chief Damrell, and taken to the 
City Hall, from there distributed as emergency required, and all was duly 
accounted for. The engines in use being of the Amoskeag pattern. Governor 
Shaw superintendent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, was telegraphed 
to send a corps of workmen with duplicate parts of the engines, to meet every 
crisis that might occur. The key of the fire was well understood, and the 
departments of Boston, Cambridge Charleston and the Navy Yard, were massed 
in a batter}^ at this point, which embraced Arch, Devonshire and Summer streets 
and Winthrop square, and the territory bounded by them. Owing to the 
diminished supply of water, all outlying draughts upon pipes and mains were 
ordered closed, and the lull power of the battery concentrated at this point. It 
was a fight for the city and for life. 

But in a moment, as it were, when success bid fair to be achieved, the 
supply of water failed and the force was obliged to retire, not whipped, but 
driven back by overwhelming odds. This determined the fate of the fire district 
and from this moment the power of the elements defied description. Granite 
fronts and walls burst out and fell, breaking the water and gas mains and the 
several branches which supplied the hydrants and buildings. Cellars and sewers 
were permeated with gas, and water was wasting and flowing in every direction. 
By nine o'clock, the citizens were becoming wild and frantic, making unreason- 
able demands on one hand, and on the other offering fabulous sums for the 
desertion of one position for the defense of another. Some in the whirl of 
excitement, opened their stores and invited the people to help themselves to 
the contents. This was a fearful and demoralizing act, and tendered to inflame 
the thirst of that class which is ever ready to make the most of others mis- 
fortunes. From this hour onward, the Board of Engineers fought the fire 
upon a principle so thoroughly understood, that the orders of the chief were 
often anticipated. 



Commission Merchants, 


Liberal Cash Advances made on Consignments, 

No. 351 North Third Street, 



Being the owner and proprietor of one of the largest Coal and 
Wood Establishments in Philadelphia, and having had many years 
practical experience, I am enabled to give those who favor me 
with their patronage the leading and best grades of COAL, from 
both the Lehigh and Schuylkill Collieries. My price is always as 
low as the lowest who deal fairly and honestly. I never cheat in 
order to undersell. 2240 Ibs. to the ton in every instance of 
Anthracite Coals. I also handle Westmoreland and the celebrated 
English Cannel Coals for open grate fires. 

My stock of Hickory and Oak Wood is the most complete in 
the city. I supply only the very best, which is cut by steam power 
to any desired length for grates and stoves. I also deliver large 
loads of Virginia Pine Kindling at $3.00 and $3.50 per load. Also 


South St. Wharf and Schuylkill River, 


Currents aud counter-currents of rarefied air rushed in every direction 
with the power of a tornado, and new heat-centres were constantly produced, 
rendering human power impotent to resist the Niagara of destruction. 

Volumes of flames held full possession of both sides of the street, while 
gas and air explosions, and the crash of falling walls followed each other in 
such rapid succession as to resemble the .sound of cannonading from a hundred 

It was impossible to mass or consolidate the engines, for the water supply 
would not admit of it ; therefore the force was divided into small detachments. 
By ten o'clock the engines from the suburbs began to arrive, and were assigned 
to the reservoirs, as their couplings would not connect with the hydrants. The 
induced currents were carefully studied, and air was found to be highly rarified 
with a strong rush upwards, which formed a terrible vacuum, and to fill this 
gave a velocity to the inrushing oxygen of thirty miles an hour, and drew the 
heat from the outward baundary of the fire to its base or centre. From these 
facts it was evident to the experienced, what the boundary of the fire would be. 
At II o'clock, members of the City Goverment and the leading citizens became 
so terrified they made all sorts of irrational demands on those upon whom the 
responsibility of the terrible battle devolved. Among the methods recommended 
was the use of gun -powder as an auxiliary to the work which was now being 
performed by the department. This was deprecated by some members of the 
department as being impracticable, extremely dangerous and tendering to 
demoralize the working force of the city, by reason of the narrow streets, lined 
with high buildings and these stored with inflammable merchandise ; for it was 
felt that the use of explosives would tumble these buildings and their contents 
into confused heaps of conbustibles, which would not be defended as well as if 
they stood intact, while the thoroughfare would be blocked by the debris. 
Besides all this, it was urged that the plans of the battle, now well arranged and 
understood by the generals in command, would be interfered with by the desires 
of inexperienced and excited men. But the powder was brought into 

requisition and used, and with the effects anticipated by those who opposed its 

The fire raged with relentless fury for eighteen hours. The streets 
became veritable blow pipes, by reason of their narrowness and height of the 
buildings, causing such intense heat that blocks of granite stores would melt as 
it were, and fall before the flames had approached within a hundred feet of 
them. At last the working force had been so augmented by the reinforce- 
ments from out of town, that the adequate supply of water from the tide 
reservoirs along the southern, eastern and northern boundaries of the fire could 
be made available, and at three o'clock in the morning a continous line of battle 
was formed, the right resting on Washington, near Bloomfield street, and 
continuing through Washington street and Broad to Olive street. This line 

embraced forty-two steam engines, which advanced with an ardor and pluck 
that evinced their determination to stop and conquer further devastion. The 
work here performed demanded and evoked the commendation and admiration 
of those competent to judge of its efl5ciency , and by it the flames were driven 
back to a common centre, the army holding every point gained in the attack. 


ifllPGiialGaDinel wtiiskey! 

The Finest Whiskey in the World. 

$1.25 THE BOTTLE. 
No. 1310 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 






Members, American Association of Public Accountants. 


At ten o'clock Sunday morning the fearful strain to which the men had been 
subject had brought them to the verge of complete exhaustion, and reinforce- 
ments that had arrived during the morning hours were most opportune bringing 
temporary relief and rest to those who had been engaged in so long a superhuman 
struggle. The limits of the fire were now defined, and the further spread being 
out of the question the work was directed to the interior of buildings partially 
destroyed on the boundary of the fire. The military organizations were doing 
magnificent work in keeping the curious minded back from dangerous positions, 
details of the grand army of firemen were posted to take care of the ruins, and 
tranquility again took possession of the city. But at midnight, on Sunday the city 
was again aroused by a terrific report occasioned by a gas explosion on Summer 
street near Washington street, which caused a general alarm to be sent in. 
This explosion took place in a block occupied by W. R. Storm.s & Co., and R. 
S. Stern & Co., which had successfully resisted all advances of the fire fiend 
the previous night. The front wall was blown into the street, the merchandise 
with which the building was stored ignited and a terrific fire was again in full 
blast, in close proximity to the two largest dry goods stores in the city. The 
excitement caused by this fire was even greater than that of the night before ; 
but the excellent wotk of the military in keeping the people at a proper 
distance enabled the department and its out of town allies to fight with courage 
and success, and after four hours of hot endeaver, the fire was under control. 

By the explosion one life was lost, that of the mother of Mrs. Martha 
Hudson, a lady residing on the premises, and during the fire a num.ber of 
firemen were injured. 

A summary oftheworkof destruction in the great Boston fire shows 
that it burned over sixty-five acres of land, the value of which was placed by 
the board of assessors $24,365,000, consumed buildings assessed at 512,745,000, 
and destroyed merchandise assessed for $38,434,000, add to this $10,800,000 as 
a fair estimate of the value of consigned goods, and we have a grand total in 
buildings and merchandise of $85,000,000. The report of the Board of the Fire 
Commissioners placed the total loss at $75,000,000. The buildings numbered 
776 of which 709 were brick and stone, and 67 wood ; 550 were owned by 
separate estates and were occupied by over 1000 business firms. 


''As an appetizer has no equal.' 


The H. READ CO., Ltd. 



Contractor and Builder, 

Austin Bloclc, 1220 Filbert St., 

Floieuce, Ala, Philadelphia. 


'COT^HE most destructive fire that has ever visited New York City, occurred 
[rH>R, on the night of December i6th, 1835. It was terrible cold, the ground 
tVEt^i' coveredwith the snow and thermometer registered 17° below zero. A 
private watchman while patroling his beat, had discovered smoke issuing from 
the five-story building, No. 25 Merchant street, which extended through to Pearl 
street, and was occupied on the first floor by Comstock & Andrews, fancy dry- 
goods merchants, and the upper part by Henry Barband, a French importer. 
In twenty minutes the flames spread to Exchange place, then to Water street, 
to Front and South streets. The breeze from the northwest, amounted to almost 
a gale. The rivers were frozen solid; so thick indeed was the ice that the 
firemen had to cut through it to clear the ends of the piers before they could 
strike water. Several of the engines were lowered down on the ice and there 
worked by the men. 

As the water from the river was pumped into the hose it froze in part; 
and choked the flow. The firemen worked hard, stamping on the hose to 
break the ice, and working at the pumps. The streams that were thrown by 
hydrants and engines were blown back in the face of the toilers, and fell con- 
gealed at their feet. These eff'orts seemed only to add to the fury of the 

Many of the buildings were new warehouses with iron shutters and copper 
roofs, and so intense was the heat that the metal was melted and ran off the 
roofs in streams. The harbor was lighted up brilliantly, the water loooking like 
a sea of blood, every rope and spar on the ships was visible. Clouds of smoke, 
like large mountains, suddenly rising in the air were succeeded by long banners 
of flame, reaching to zenith and roaring for their prey. Street after street caught 
the terrible current, until acre after acre was booming an ocean of flame. The 
Tontine Building (Hudson's News Room), which had a shingle roof caught fire, 
and dark smoke in huge masses tinged with flickering flashes of bright flames, 
burst from all the upper windows. The Tontine was on the north side of Wall 
street, and had the flames consumed this building, nothing would have saved 
the upper part of the city. The Old Tontine coffee house was the exchange of 
the city, and Buyden, its keeper; is described as a rough but pleasant old fellow. 
It is related of him that when the first Anthracite coal was offered for sale in 
New York, he tried it in the hall of the Tontine. He pronounced the article 
worse than nothing, for he put a scuttle into the grate, then another, and after 
they were consumed he took up two scuttles of stones. Two solitary engines 
with what little water they managed to obtain, were throwing their feeble and 




620 Race Street, 514 ^Wabasb Avenue, 



Successor to HUBERT BISHOP. 

Corner Hancock and Edward Streets Philadelphia. 





..arg..,tock: hires <Sc CO., liinM ■■''«' "•««^' 


Cabrsd ftnd In&melsd dUss. yakiicg ^hr.?. French S&vet. logHsh Shut. 
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useless streams upon the flaming stores opposite, when Mr. Oliver Hull, calling 
their attention to the burning cornice of the Tontine, promised to donate one 
hundred dollars to the firemen's fund, if they would extinguish the blaze. In 
the vicinity was No. 13 Engine, of which Mr. Zophar Mills (who is still living) 
was foreman. Seeing the danger, and knowing that in the ordinary way the 
hose would not convey the water to the top of the Tontine, Foreman Mills 
directed his men to get a counter which had been taken out of one of the stores, 
and to place on the top a gin or brandy puncheon and hold the nozzle so that 
the water could be thrown on the shingles of the building. By this means the 
fire was kept under at this point, and the upper part of the city was saved. 
This was at about four o'clock, a. m., and the cold was so penetrating that it 
was almost next to impossible to hold the nozzle of the hose in position. 
Thousands of citizens flocked to the scene; and their aid was welcome to the 
tired firemen. 

Subsequently there was a controversy as to what company to reward for, 
and had the honor of extinguishing the blazing cornice. The dispute was 
referred to Mr. Hull, the gentleman who had off"ered the reward, who wrote a 
letter to Mr. Eophar Mills, in which he says : "Other firemen came in to assist 
from various directions, but the company to whom I spoke, and who piled up 
the packages on the counter, are, in my estimation; mostly, if not entirely, 
entitled to the honor of extinguishing the fire. I stood at the corner of Water 
street and observed the whole transaction. Several firemen afterwards called 
at my store and stated that they had assisted in preventing the fire from crossing 
Wall street at various places, and all of them appeared to rejoice very much in 
their success in arresting the fire, and seemed desirous to share in the honors. 
I do not remember which company I paid the money to, but remember there 
was some controversy between 8 and 13, as to which was entitled to receive it. 
But, as it went into the Charitable Fund-of the Fire Department, that was not 
deemed of much consequence. I make this statement with much pleasure, as I 
consider that we are indebted to the great exertions of our brave fellow citizens, 
the firemen, on that disastrous night, in preventing the fire from crossing Wall 
street, thus saving millions in property, and our beautiful city from probable 
entire destruction." 

It was clearly proven at the time that the counter referred to was placed 
by No. 13 Engine Company upon the sidewalk, and an empty liquor cask placed 
thereon, on the erection thus made, Fritz Randolph held the pipe, and Alfred 
Willis was engaged in raising the hose. The pipe was held at as great an eleva- 
tion as possible by the united force of the company. 

Onward, still onward, swept the fiery demon of destruction ! The 
hydrants were exhausted, the engines had long been frozen up with their hose. 
Westward, the South Dutch Church, which had been the hasty depository of 
goods was in flames, which threatened to extend to Broad street throughout. 
At this supreme moment a man was caught setting fire to the house at the 
corner of Stone and Broad streets. Was he a maniac, or maddened by liquor ? 
The excited citizens paused not to inquire, but seizing this fiend in human 
shape lynched him on the spot. On the south a desperate struggle was made 
at Hanover square. The firemen had turned their energies to saving property. 


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A. 1a£ILT^S sons, 


House, Stair and Cabinet Work ; Church, Bank, 
Store and Office Fixtures. 

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». P. PANCOASX, M. D., President. J. HBNRV HAVES, Xreas. 




G. A. BISLER, Manufacturer, 

328 JU"X^IA.lSrJSru?^ SXREET, I^IiII-.-A.. 


In that large space was piled an immense amount of goods, thought to be 
perfectly safe in that spot. There was accumulated the stock of all the French 
stores, a mass of silks, satins, laces, cartons of dresses, capes, cashmere shawls, 
and the richest kinds of fancy articles, forming a little mountain sixty feet wide 
by twenty-five high or nearly one hundred feet square. The large East India 
warehouse of Peter Remsem & Co., situated on the northeast corner of Hanover 
square was at this moment an object of absorbing interest. It was filled with a 
full stock of valuable goods. Before the fire reached it, goods were thrown out 
of the upper windows, and with merchandise from the lower floors were piled 
up in the square. 

But the warring flames came quickly on. Just as the goods were stacked 
a gust of, like a streak of lightning came from the Remsem building and 
shooting across the square, blown by a strong wind set hre to the entire mass. 
In a few moments the costly pile was reduced to cinders. It disappeared like 
figures in a dissolving view, then the fire was communicated to the houses 
opposite. Notwithstanding this mighty furnace, the cold was so intense that the 
firemen were compelled to take blankets and cut holes through them, thus con- 
verting them into temporary cloaks. In this attire they were seen at daylight 
dragging home their engines, many of them so exhausted by fatigue that they 
were asleep as they walked. 

One entire company thus accoutred, had artificial wreaths and flowers in 
their hats, and presented a singular contrast with their begrimed faces and jaded 
appearance. It is said that the illumination w^as so great that it was observed 
at places a hundred miles distant. At one time the turpentine which took fire 
on the wharf ran down into the water, melting the ice as it came in contact with 
it, making a blazing sea many hundred yards square. 

The shipping in the docks of East river was in danger, and only saved 
by strenuous efforts. The brig 'Powhattan," lying between Murray's wharf 
and Coenties Slip, caught fire, but the flames were soon extinguished. No. ^^ 
Engine was run upon the deck of a brig, in order to take the water wdth her 
suction, and played into No. 2, which gave her water to No. 13. This last 
engine, as already stated, played on the fire on Wall street. The members of 
No. 33 Engine, according to Mr. Charles Forrester, had their own fun on the 
deck of the brig. The cook on the vessel made a fire in the galley, and six men 
would get in there and shut the door, and when they got thawed out, a member 
would put his hat over the pipe and smoke them out, then a new set would go 
in, and so it was kept up through the night. The engine did not cease working 
until daylight, when she stopped for a few seconds, and upon orders to start 
again she was found so frozen that they could get no water through her. The 
company was then ordered home to thaw out. To depict the scenes of that 
awful night would require a volume in itself. 

The surging crowd, the struggles with the police, the pieces of property 
rescued from the burning or endangered buildings, and carried hither and thither 
the innumerable thefts, the shouts of the assembled thousands, the fights ending 
in bloodshed, the roar of the flames, and the hoarse creaking of the working 
engines no pen can do adequate justice to. It was a saturnalia for the lawless 
of the populace. Men, and women too, seized on cases of wine and barrels of 


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liquor that were thrown anywhere and everywhere. It is supposed that fully a 
thousand baskets of champagne were broken and destroyed, the tops being 
unceremoniously knocked off, and the contents drank by the maddened throng 
surrounding the fire. An immense quantity of baskets of champagne were seen 
floating in the dock, and cheese and provisions were scattered there and about 
the Slips. It was soon seen that to save the rest of the city that some buildings 
must be blown up. James Gulick, the hero of the "June Bugs," who was then 
chief engineer, decided to blow up the houses that were immediately threatened. 
He then sent for some kegs of gunpowder, but a sufficiency could not be obtained 
in the city, not being allowed as an article of merchandise. . Other messengers 
were sent in hot haste to the fort on Governor's Island, but in vain. Though a 
most bitter night, a navy barge was dispatched against a head tide, to the mag- 
azine at Red Hook, a distance probably of four or five miles from the fort for a 
supply of powder. 

When the first faint streaks of dawn were struggling with the unnatural 
redness in the sky, a corps of marines arrived with some powder, and then the 
demolition of buildings began, but it was not until noon of Thursday that the 
necessary break was made at Coenties Slip. It was truly remarkable, the char- 
acteristic sang f raid, with which the sailors of Captain Mix's party carried 
about wrapped up in a blanket or pea-jacket, as it might happen to be, kegs and 
barrels of gunpowder, amid a constant shower of fire, as the^^ followed their 
officers to the various buildings indicated for destruction. On the north side, 
the extraordinary strength of the Wall street buildings — many of them resisting 
firmly the assaults of the destroyer, and none of the walls crumbling and falling 
into the streets as is the case generally — did more for the safety of that part of 
the city than anything within the power of human effort. For hours it was 
doubtful if the flames could be arrested here, and if not; there was little hope 
that they could be before reaching Maiden Lane. The advent of the marines 
and sailors from the Navy Yard had a beneficial effect upon the crowds. The 
marines, eighty in number, under the cammand of Captain Walker, formed a 
complete chain of sentinels along South street, from the Fulton Ferry to Wall 
street, and up Wall to the Exchange. They kept their post all night and thus 
afforded great protection to the property exposed. Great prices were offered 
and given for help in removing goods. One merchant is said to have purchased 
a horse and cart on the spot for five hundred dollars, with which he succeeded 
in saving the stock. 

Eeary the hatter, in the midst of the fire gave a hat to anyone helping him 
to remove a bundle. To one fellow he gave a hat who handed it back. 
''What's the matter?" "It don't fit, was the saucy reply. "Give me one to 
fit if you are giving away hats." Many of the merchants gave blankets or 
anything else to people helping them. One poor man had removed several 
valuable packages to a place of safety. "Here's a coat, a pair of pantaloons 
and a blanket for you," said the merchant, handing over the articles. The 
violence of the gale continued all night, burning embers were carried across 
the East River to Brooklyn, and set fire to the roof of a house, which however 
was speedily extinguished. 

Chas. Scott & Co. 



Carriage&Wagon Wheels 


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• l-H 



Mr. John A. Myers, of One Hundred and Fourth street, near Ninth 
avenue, who celebrated his golden wedding with four generations on February 
8th, 1886, was then living in a farm house on the site of the present Joralemon 
street, Brooklyn, said on the following morning he found the space around his 
dwelling black with embers blown over from the great fire. The grandest and inspiring views were from Brooklyn, Weehawken and vStaten Island. 
From thence the whole city .seemed in one awful sheet of flame. The 
merchants aided by the firemen and the well-di.sposed citizens, devoted them- 
selves to removing to places of suppo.sed safety, such property as could be 
gotten in their haste together. With this intent an immense quantity of goods 
were placed in the Merchant's Exchange, in Wall street, and in the Dutch 
Reformed Church, in Garden street, were it was presumed they would be secure. 
But in a short time these buildings with their contents were reduced to ashes. 
The Exchange was one of the largest edifices in the city, situated on the south 
side of Wall street, and embracing one hundred and fifteen feet of the front 
between William and Hanover streets. It was three stories high exclu.sive of 
the basement which was considerably elevated. This structure long resisted 
the flames. It did not catch until two o'clock on Thursday morning. Now the 
Dutch Church on Garden .street caught. The church po.ssessed a famous organ 
many a solemn dirge had been played on it at the burial of the dead, and 
now, the holy temple being on fire, some one commenced performing upon that 
organ its own funeral dirge and continued until the lofty ceiling was in a blaze. 
The music ceased, and in a short time the beautiful edifice, with its noble 
instrument and immense quantities of goods stored inside and out, were all 
irrecoverably gone, nothing escaped except the dust and bones of the buried 
dead. Above the church the bright gold l)all and star on the highest point of 
the spire gleamed brilliantly and still, while they were both shining on the deep 
blue concave with an intensity of splendor which attracted general remark, 
gave one surge and fell in all their glory into the heap of chaos beneath them. 
On the following day the heart of the city seemed to have ceased to beat; ot 
business there was none; New York was stricken as with paralysis. From five 
to ten thousand people had been thrown out of employment, and universal 
sorrow prevailed. 

The people gathered by thousands around the smoking ruins and sadly 
thought of the many families whose daily bread was gone. Swiftly flew the 
news to other cities, and sympathy of a practical kind was the response. The 
same locomotive that on Thursday morning carried the tidings of the fire to 
Newark, brought to the city within an hour afterwards the New Jersey engines 
which at once went to work. The firemen from Philadelphia and Baltimore 
immediately on receipt of the intelligence from New York started on. Four 
hundred from Philadelphia immediately left for the scene of the fire, unfortu- 
nately, by the breaking down of one of the cars on the railroad a large number 
were obliged to go back, but some arrived early on Saturday morning and the 
remainder followed with as little delay as possible. The two hundred and 
thirt>' from Baltimore were more fortunate and arrived in New York on Saturday 
afternoon. Stations were assigned them amid the ruins, and they went to work 
with great spirit and excellent result, On the succeeding night, patrol duty was 

\/n. GERbAGH, 

Passage - Exchange, 


310 Callowhill Street. 

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done by the Third and Ninth Regiments and the Light Infantry Companies. 
Civic patrols were also formed in several wards, and thus property to a great 
amount was save from depredation. Earge quantities of merchandise carried 
off in boats on Wednesday night were secreted on Long Island the Jersey shores 
and in the upper wards of the city. The scenes at Police Headquarters were 

The squalid misery of a greater part of those taken with the goods in 
their possession, the lies and prevarications to which they resorted to induce 
the magistrates not to commit them to prison, their wailing when they found 
they must relinquish the splendid prizes they had made during the raging of the 
fire, and the numbers in which they were brought by the police and military, 
exceeded any of a similar kind on record. For the previous three days and 
nights every place capable of detention was crammed with these miserable 
miscreants. Hundreds were discharged without further punishment than 
merely taking from them their plunder, and but very few of the whole number, 
even those who had stolen hundreds of dollars worth could not be convicted, in 
consequence of the impossibility of the identification of the property stolen. 
Mr. James Gordon Bennett, in an issue of his paper on December 1 8th, gives 
the following description of his visit to the ruins on the morning following the 
fire: "At nine o'clock yesterday morning I went to see the awful scene. It 
was heartrending in the extreme, I walked down William street, crowds of 
people of both sexes were wandering in the same direction. It was piercing 
cold, and every other person had a woolen comfort wrapped around his neck. 
On approaching the corner of Wall and William the smoking ruins were awful 
The whole of the southern side of Wall street was nearly down. The front of 
the Exchange was partly standing, covered with smoke and showing the effect 
of the fire. The splendid marble columns were cracked in several places. 
The street was full of people, the sidewalks encumbered with bales, boxes, 
bundles, safes and lost articles. There was no possibility of proceeding further 
down William street. Both sides were burnt down, and the streets filled with 
hot bricks, burning goods and heaps of rubbish. United States soldiers were 
stationed here and there to protect the goods, yet men, boys and women of all 
colors were stealing and pilfering as fast as they could. From this spot I pro- 
ceeded down Wall street, in the centre I saw the Journal of Commerce sign, all 
the rest gone. The various Brokers ofiices to the right were a heap of ruins. 
From the Exchange down to the river, one side of Wall street was a heap of 
ruins On going down Wall street I found it difficult to get through the crowd. 
The hose of the fire engines was run along the street and frozen. The front 
blocks of houses between Exchange Place and Pearl street were standing, 
behind which was all ruin and desolation. At the corner of Wall and Pearl, 
on looking southwardly I saw a single ruin standing about half way to Hanover 
square, I proceeded, climbing over the hot bricks on the site as I thought of 
Pearl street, but of that I am not sure, till I got to the single solitary wall that 
reared its head as if it was in mockery of the elemental war. On approaching 
I read on the mutilated granite wall. "Arth — Tap — n, 122 Pe — 1 Street." 
These were all the characters I could distinguish on the column, two stories of 
this great wall were standing, the rest entirely in ruins. It was the only por- 

xSq2 Established 1S67. Incorporated 1S86. iSq2 

Jas. M. Arrison, Prest. A. N. Paul, Vice-Prest. Geo. A. Schafer, Sec. & Treas. 
John G. Matsinger, General Superintendent. 


QJjice, 1418 Penn Sguare, ojjp. New City Hall, 

Wharf, Lombard Street, Schuylkill, -j / loth Street and Susquehanna Ave. 

Whart, 27th Street, below Pine. I Branch Offices J 206 Bainbridge Street. 

913 Otsego Street, below Christian, r and Depots. \ 206 South Ninth Street. 
554 North Broad Street. J ( 

Wagons deliver Ice in all parts of the City, including West Philadelphia, Darby, Tioga, 
and the lower part of Germantown. It is the intention of the Company to deliver Eastern 
Ice only. We can guarantee a full supply the entire season. 

Orders and complaints please send in writing to the Office. 

Coal Dealbrs 

In Hard and Free Burning Coals, 



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Chestnut and Eighth Streets. 


tion of a wall standing from the corner of Wall street to Hanover square ; far 
beyond that, there is nothing but smoke, fire and dust. Proceeding along on 
the ruins, sometimes on Pearl street, and sometimes out of it, I found several 
groups of men and boys digging among the hot bricks and dust. "What are 
they doing?" I asked a gentleman who was standing there. "Damn them." 
said he, "they are looking for money. Some of them have found gold pieces 
and others franc pieces." "HiUo !" cried a dirty looking little fellow, "I have 
got something. " In several other places were small groups of pilferers and 


In the centre of Hanover square I found a variety of goods and merchan- 
dise burning, several boys were warming themselves at the fire made of fine 
French calicoes and Irish linens. Here the smoke was intense, from Hanover 
square I could neither proceed south, east or west, William street. Pearl and 
down to the wharf were all impassable, the smoke was suffocating. The whole 
of the space between the corner of William and Pearl up to the Exchange with 
all the streets, stores, etc., I saw to be a sad heap of utter ruins. "Good God !" 
said a man to me, "what a sight, what a sight," "truly," said I. From this 
spot, near the Gazette oflice, which was entirely burned down, I returned the 
way' I came, climbing over hot bricks, knocking against boys encountering 
bales and boxes till I again reached a firm footing in Wall street, I then 
proceeded down the North side of Wall street, to the wharf below. The crowd 
of spectators was greater here than ever, the street was full of boxes and goods. . 
I felt quite cold, I saw a large group of men stirring up a fire in the centre of 
Wall street, between Water and Front, on going near to warm myself, I found 
the fire was made out of the richest of merchandise and fine furniture from some 
of the elegant counting rooms. 

I proceeded to Hudson's News Rooms, which escaped, having been on 
the windward side of Wall street, I could not find an entrance, as- it was full of 
goods and bales of merchandise. I proceeded to the corner of Wall and Front 
streets, here I saw a horrible scene of desolation, looking down South street, 
toward the south, nothing could be seen but awful ruins, people were standing 
shaking their heads and stamping their feet, still quite cold, and uttering 
melancholy exclamations. A small boy at the corner was caught by an honest 
porter stealing some goods. "What are you going to do with that?" asked the 
porter. "Nothing," said the boy. "Then lay it where you got it, and go to the 
• watchhouse with me." The rascal attempted to escape, and began to cry. "Let 
the scoundrel go," said a gentleman, and straightway the honest black man gave 
him a kick and let him run. 

From the corner of Wall street, I proceeded southward, I cannot now 
talk of streets; all their sites are buried in ruins and smoking bricks, no vessels 
lay here at the wharves— all are gone. I went down the wharf ; the basin was 
floating with merchandise of every description. Going a little further south on 
what was formerly Front street, I encountered a cloud of smoke that burst from 
a smoking pile of stores. Emerging from this sirocco I found a crowd of boys 
and ragged men huddling around a fire made of some curious species of fuel; 
around appeared to be large heaps of dust. The fragrance was fine, I asked 
one of the boys what it was. "Tea, sir," said he, with perfect nonchalance, 

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Paints, Oils, Glass, Brushes, Putty, Varnishes, 


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"fine Hyson tea, doesn't it make a fine fire ?" "Come, Jack, throw in a little 
more of that fuel," and sure enough he did. A fire was hissing made out of tea 
boxes and fine Hyson tea itself, several dirty little girls were gathering up the 
tea and putting it into baskets. Proceeding further I encountered hogsheads of 
raw sugar, half-emptied, and their contents strewed, like the Hyson tea, over 
the pavements and bricks, boys and girls were eating it as fast as they could. I 
could get no further than a short distance down Front, from the corner of Wall 
street, the smoke, ruin hot bricks and all were too horrible to get over and 

Retracing ray steps, I returned up Wall street; the scenes presented 
themselves to me. the crowds were immense, carts, porters, merchants, bankers, 
women and children crowded from Front to the bottom of Wall street. I passed 
the solitary columns of the Exchange, I went under the corner of Broad street, 
and attempted in that direction to reach the southwest part of the scene of the 
conflagration. All Broad street was covered with merchandise, etc., etc., I 
attempted several times to tread my way down to the wharf at the foot of 
Broad street, I could not do it. From the centre of this street, looking to the 
left over the buildings in the direction of William street, I saw nothing but 
flames ascending to heavier, and prodigious clouds of smoke curling after it as 
if from a volcano. 

Emerging from Broad street I went up a narrow street to the Bowling 
Green, here was deposited on the sidewalk, half a million dollars worth of fine 
goods. The whole street was lined, clerks were standing about the several 
piles watching them. I went down the Whitehall Slip, it was equally crowded 
with rich merchandise, one whole end of the Battery was covered with the 
richest silks, sateens, brocades and woolen cloths. The plunderers were here 
quite busy, several were caught, and sent to to the w^atch-house. I turned the 
corner at the south end of South street, and wended my way along the 
wharves in the direction of Coenties Slip, I found all the merchants in Front 
street busy removing their goods. On reaching the corner of Front street and 
Coenties Slip the most awful scenes burst upon my eyes, I beheld the several 
blocks, seven-story stores filled with rich merchandise, on the north side of the 
Slip, in one bright, burning, horrible flame. About forty buildings were on 
fire at one time. 

The front of the Slip was piled with goods. "What nonsense," said the 
people, "the goods will burn up also." Here the crowd was immense, all the 
upper part of the Slip on the north and east sides was burning or burned up. 
At the south corner of Pearl street and Coenties Slip, it was just passable. All 
to the right was on fire, and every store back to Broad street it was feared 
would go. Pressing through the crowd, I attempted to get back to Broad street 
through Pearl street, it was hardly passible, so much was the street encum- 
bered with goods, carts and the crowd. From this point I retreated up Broad 
street through an immense crowd to the Custom House to which the PostoflBce 
had been moved, here I found a few of the clerks in an apartment leading from 
Pine street, in an awful state of confusion. They scarcely knew what thej'^ had 
lost or saved, and could not tell when the mails would be ready. On falling in 
with several of our most respectable citizens, I said, "Awful ! Horrible !" 


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"Truly, truly," said they, "we are all ruined; I have two sons gone, each of 
their stores is burned down, the insurance companies will not be able to pay 
five shillings on the pound." "New York is bankrupt; New York is put twenty 
years back. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston will now start ahead of us." 
"What shall be done?" I asked. Shall we not go to war with France?" "Tush! 
tush !" said he, "the surplus revenue ought to pay for this night's work. We 
paid it to the Government, let them give it back to us; we are ruined and bank- 
rupt." Of the six large morning newspapers only two escaped the general wreck. 
The Mercantile and the Courier and Enquirer. The . Daily Advertiser, Journal 
of Commerce and Gazette were burned out of both printing and publication 
offices; The Times, printing office only. 

The "American," among the evening papers was entirely destroyed. 
All Mr. Minor's periodicals. Railroad Journal, Mechanics' Magazine, etc., etc., 
were included in the wreck. The printers of the Knickerbocker also. Arthur 
Tappan & Co., escaped the absolute ruin in which so many were involved. 
Their store being of stone, and having window shutters of thick boiler iron, 
(put on after the mobs of 1734,) withstood the flames for nearly an hour, while 
all was in a blaze around it, so that the books and papers, and a very large 
amount of goods, probably one hundred thousand dollars worth, were carried 
out and removed beyond the spread of the fire. The energy and daring with 
which the negroes pressed to save these goods, greatly impressed the bystanders. 
It was with difficulty they were restrained from rushing in after the flames had 
burst out at the door. Arthur Tappan, had an insurance effected on his store 
and goods to the amount of three hundred thousand dollars at one of the Boston 
offices. No office in New York city, would insure him because he was an 
abolitionist. On the second night after the conflagration, a couple of gentlemen 
observed a stout women making up Pearl street, near the corner of Wall street, 
with a large bundle under her cloak. When she saw the gentlemen looking at 
her, she immediately commenced singing, " Hush-a-by, baby, etc." The 
gentlemen thinking that the poor baby was quite worrisome, offered their aid 
to quiet its infant restlessness. "Oh! bless your honors, she's asleep now." 
The gentlemen still persisted, in having a look at the blooming little cherub. 
She resisted, but in vain. On opening the cloak, they found that the dear little 
creature, in the terror of the moment, had actually changed into an armful 
of the richest silk and satin goods, slightly burnt at the ends. The affectionate 
mother was immediately secured. During the fire a store was burnt which 
contained 800,000 pounds of lead, belonging to a merchant in Philadelphia. 
After the fire was over, and the rubbish removed, it was found that the lead 
had melted into large masses, so that the owner was obliged to quarry it out. 

The McNeals, of Salem, were the losers of a large cargo of tea in the 
store of Osborne & Young. On Tuesday, the day before the fire, they were 
offered ^60,000 profit on the whole cargo. They said to their Supercargo, 
"Shallwe take it?" " I would advise you not," said he, "you can by keeping 
it a month, make $200,000," they did so, and lost the whole. After the fire the 
Supercargo recalled the conversation and regretted it. "No," said they, " it is 
all for the best, Providence knows better than you do. It might have been 
bought by some one who could not bear the loss so well as we can." Noble 

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Specialties of Every Description. 


fellows ! Probably about four thousand boxes of sugar of all kinds had been 
destroyed, and at least forty thousand bags of coflTee. On Old Slip there were 
piled at least five thousand bags alone. 

Gabriel P. Disosway, of the firm of Disosway Brothers, No. 180 Pearl 
street, near Maiden lane, writing some years after the occurence, has given 
one of the best accounts of the fire. " I then resided in that pleasant Quaker 
neighborhood, Vande water street," and hearing an alarm of fire hastened 
to the front door. I put on an old warm overcoat and a old hat for active 
service on my own hook. Years afterwards these articles, preserved as curiosities 
bore marks of the heat, sparks and exposure of that fearful time. My own 
course that night was to obtain voluntary aid, and entering the stores of my 
personal friends, removing if possible, books and papers. It is impossible to 
imagine the fervent heat created by the increasing flames. Many of the stores 
were new, with iron shutters and doors, copper roofs and gutters, fire proof of 
first class and I carefully watched the beginning and progress of their complete 

The heat'alone'at times melted the copper roofing, and the burning liquid 
ran oflf in great drops. At one store near Arthur Tappan and & Co.'s, I warned 
some firemen of their danger from this unexpected source. Along here the 
buildings were of the first class, and one after the other ignited under the roof 
from the 'next edifice. Downward from floor to floor went the devouring 

As the, different stores caught the iron shutters shone with glowing red- 
ness, until >t last [forced open by the uncontrollable enemy. Within they 
presented the appearance of imm.ense iron furnaces when in full blast. The 
tin and copper bound roof often seemed struggling to maintain their fast 
hold, while gently raising and falling and moving until their rafters weakened 
and giving away, they mingled in the blazing crater of goods, beams, floors 
and walls below." 

On the north side of Hanover square stood the fine storehouse of Peter 
Remsen & Co., one of the largest India firms, with a valuable stock. Here we 
assisted, and many light bales of goods were thrown from the upper windows, 
together with a large amount of other merchandise all heaped in the midst of 
the square, then thought to be a perfectly secure place. Water street also was 
on fire, and we hastened to the old firm of S. B. Harper and Eows, grocers in 
Front street, opposite Gouvenor Lane, where there appeared to be no immediate 
danger, the father and sons had arrived, and we succeeded in removing their 
valuables. As we left the store after the last load, a terrible explosion 
occurred near by with the noise of a cannon. The earth shook, and we ran for- 
safety— not knowing what might follow— and took refuge on the corner of 
Gouvernor Lane, nearly opposite. In a few minutes a second explosion took 
place, another, then another. During the space perhaps of half an hour, shock 
after shock followed in rapid succession, accompanied with the thickest and 
darkest clouds of smoke imaginable. The explosions came from a store on 
Front street near the Old Slip, where large quantities of saltpetre in bags had 
been stored. 


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Suddenly, the whole ignited, and out leaped the flaming streams of 
these neutral salts, in their own peculiar colors from every door and window 
some might have called them fireworks. One of the most grand and frightful 
scenes was the burning of an oil store on the corner of the Old Slip and South 
street. It was four or more stories high, and filled with windows on both sides 
without any shutters. This was before the day of petroleum and kerosene and 
the building was full of sperm and other oils. These fired, hogshead after 
hogshead, and over the spacious edifice resembled a vast bon-fire, or a giant 
beacon, casting its bright beams on the river and surrounding region, but 
finally the confined inflammable mass from eaves to cellar shot out with 
tremendous force through every window and door, and soon all disappeared 
except the cracked, tottering and falling walls. I then sought the premises 
of Burns, Halliburton & Co., one of the most popular firms ot that day. 
They were the agents of the Merrimac and other works, and had an immense 
valuable stock of calicoes, muslins and flannels. 

In one of the upper lofts I met one of the firm, Mr. Burns, one of nature's 
noblemen, since dead, with his other partners, and he was weeping. "Too 
hard," said he, "after all the toil of years to see property thus .suddenly 
destroyed !" "Cheer up," we said, "the world is still large enough for success 
and fortune." And so it proved for him and many others. From Maiden lane 
to Coenties Slip, and from William street to East river— the whole immense 
area, embracing some thirteen acres, all in a raging, uncontrollable blaze. To 
what can we compare it? An ocean of fire, as it were, with roaring, rolling, 
burning waves, surging onward and upward, and spreading certain universal 
destruction, tottering walls and falling chimneys with black smoke, hissing and 
clashing sounds on every .side. Something like this, for we cannot describe it, 
was the fearful prospect, and soon sati.sfied with the alarming fearful view, we 

retired from our high lookout. < 

Not long after we left our high standpoint, it was enveloped in the 
universal blaze, and soon the Garden Street Church, with its spire, organ, and 
heaps of goods stored within and without, was consumed. There, too, was lost 
the venerable bell which had been removed at an early period, in New York 
history from the old St. Nicholas Church, within the present Battery. What 
more can be done to stop the progress of the flames, became the anxious and 
general inquiry. Mr. Cornelius W. Lawrence, the Mayor, appeared with his 
officers, and after consultation it was determined to blow up .some buildings. 
The first building blown up was occupied by Wyncoop & Co., grocers. Colonel 
Smith, some officers and men from the Navy Yard had charge, and no others 

were allowed to interfere. 

Wearied with watching, labor and anxiety, thousands wished for the 
break of day, and at length a dim increasing light in the east, but enshrouded 
with dull, heavy clouds of smoke, foretold the coming morning. And what a 
melancholy spectacle to thousands of people did York present. The immense 
ruins continued to blaze and burn for many days. We could now travel around 
the bounds of the night's destruction, but no living being could venture through 

Many a merchant living in the upper section of the city went quietly to 
bed that night, and strange as it may seem, when he came down town that 


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morning could not find his store, not enough of his stock remained to cover his 
head. New York, the next day sat as it were, in sackcloth and ashes, and 
real sorrow began to appear on men's faces, as the losses were discovered by 
the light of day. In the estimated thirteen acres of the burned district only 
one store escaped entire. This was occupied by the well known John A. 
Moore, to this day in the iron trade on Water street, near Old Slip. Watched 
inside and fire proof, in their wildest career, the rapid flames .seemed as it were, 
to leap this buiding, destroying all others! There it stood solitarj- and alone 
amidst surrounding destruction, as a sad monument stands alone mid the general 

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Philadelphia, No. 49 S. 4th St. 

New York, No. 413 Broadway. 

Boston, No. Ill Milk Street. 

Burning of the Temple Theatre, December 27th, 1886.— (Exterior). 


'■-/^))|\j^N the morning" of July 25th, 1873, one of the most extensive and 
r destructive conflagrations ever known in Baltimore, occurred near 
<^ the heart of the city, and threatened at one time to rival the previous 
disasters of Chicago and Boston, destroying two churches and over one hundred 
houses, including numerous small dwellings, factories and stores, rendering a 
large number of people homeless, and destroying $500,000 worth of property. 
The fire broke out at about 10:15 a. m., in a shavings box adjoining the engine 
room of the planing mill and sash and blind factory of J. Thomas & Sons, on 
Park and Clay streets, a thickly settled neighborhood, near the centre of the 
city. In a very brief space of time, the building owing to the inflammable 
nature of the wood and material with which it was stored, was wrapped in 
flames, and the conflagration began. A general alarm was sounded and all the 
engines were promptly dispatched to the scene of the fire. The fire had lasted 
from 10:15 ^- "1-. until about 4 p. m., when it became completely under control 
and literally broken up by the splendid efi"orts of the firemen. The theatre of 
the conflagration covered a densely inhabited section in which there were many 
old time houses of wood and stone, peculiar antique structures of brick and 
timber that seemed to be as dry as pine bark in the dryest weather. The fire- 
men knocked the blaze out whenever they could see it and the result was a 
gaining of time on every house, until the whole force could play on a certain 

Work b}' concentration and detail — a puzzle in itself — was never better 
done, and the manner in which it was handled by the fire department is best 
illustrated by the results, and in view of the great fires of the past years, from 
Chicago to Constantinople proves incontestibly that the fire department of Balti- 
more is one of the best in the world. The policy pursued was to abandon 
a locality to the fire when it was beyond control, and to work where the flames 
could be subdued regularly and sy.stematically, in this way the fire appeared to 
burn leisurely at some points, but the conflagration as a whole, was at no time 
beyond control. The result considering all the disadvantageous circumstances : 
the prevalent strong breeze, the closely built and dry condition of the houses, 
the numerous wooden buildings the great heat of the weather, as well as the 
fire, were all disadvantages with which the firemen had to contend. The 
result was eminently satisfactory, since Baltimore was saved on almost similar 
conditions of faulty structures, etc., from a conflagration like that of Chicago 
and other cities within past years. 

K^^tablished lS4fS« 

J^1^-^7^A.^^S IR.ELI-A.T3L^. 


Cookino' and 
Flavoring' Extracts. 


None Genuine without the signature of 



/Auditor 9 /^eeodptapt, 

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The burned district comprised the greater part of four blocks, included 
within the bounds of Howard, Lexington, Liberty and Saratoga streets, though 
only a portion of the houses within these bounds were burned, The course of 
the fire was generally towards the Cathedral, that is northeastwardly from the 
point it started, the fire in Mulberry street being in this course, and at one time 
creating the wildest sort of panic. Happily, the well-directed energies of the 
firemen, and the open width in front of and between the houses opposite the 
Central Presbyterian Church stayed its progress. 

The fire originated in what was known as the furnace or shaving room of 
the planing mill. The shavings made in the mill were conducted from the 
upper stories to the furnace rooms by means of a large wooden shute, and upon 
reaching the shavings room they were deposited in a large box, distant about 
ten feet from the furnaces of the boilers. The only plausible theory advanced 
as to the manner in which the shavings became fired was that a spark from the 
furnaces flew into the box. This is the belief of the engineer who had charge 
of the shaving room, and who states that when he discovered the fire it could 
have been covered with a half bushel measure, but before he could secure a 
pail of water the flames had reached the shute, and in an instant thereafter were 
rushing into the rooms above, the floors of which were covered with shavings. 
As a result, it was not many minutes before every part of the planing mill was 
in flames. At the breaking out of the fire there were about one hundred and 
twenty men and boys working in.difi"erent portions of the establishment, and so 
rapidly did the flames spread that many of the workmen were unable to escape 
by the stairway, and were compelled to leap from the windows, in doing which 
several of them received slight injuries. 

The property designated as the mill were three large brick buildings. 
The centre building was three stories in height, about sixty feet in length and 
thirty feet in breadth. It was known as a turning and sawing mill, and was 
furnished with a large amount of valuable machinery, and several thousand feet 
of valuable kinds of wood. The second building fronting on Clay street, was 
four stories in height, about one hundred feet in length, and thirty in width. 
This was known as the carpenter shop, sash and planing department. This 
building contained a vast amount of very valuable machinery, and a large 
quantity of finished and unfinished building material. The third and the last 
building fronted thirty-two feet on Park street, and extended westward one 
hundred feet, it was four stories in height and its south wall .skirted many of 
the back buildings of the stores and dwellings on Lexington street west of Park 
street. This building was used on the two lower floors mostly for the storage 
of finished work. The third and fourth floors were known as the cabinet- 
maker's shops, and which contained a large quantity of unfinished work, be- 
sides a great deal of valuable machinery. In the different shops there was 
about $15,000 worth of finished work on hand, not a foot of which escaped the 
flames. Twenty minutes after the fire originated in the shaving room, the 
entire mill property was in ruins, and six houses on the west side of Park street, 
between Clay and Lexington streets in flames, and the same time a large three 
story brick dwelling on the north side of Clay street one door west of Park 
street was also enveloped in the seething and roaring fire. The heat was now 

Mrs. Mary ffluellersclioen 


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Incorporated, 1888. 


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so intense in front of the burning buildings on Park street that the firemen were 
driven from their positions, thus affording the fierce flames full scope to wreak 
their vengence upon the adjacent property. The strong wind carried immense 
flakes of fire across the street to the roofs of the houses on the east side 
between Clay and Lexington streets, and at eleven o'clock, a line of fire 
extended along the roofs of the houses on that side of the street. In the rear 
of these houses was the extensive livery stables of John D. Stewart, No. xii 
I^exington street, and extending to Clay street. The rear roof of the stable was 
quickly set on fire by the shower of flying sparks, and by ten minutes past 
eleven o'clock, both sides of Clay street between Park and I.iberty with the 
exception of three houses on the north side and one on the south side were in 
flames. The buildings on Clay street consisted of stables, dwelling houses, 
carpenter and paint shops. 

While the houses on Clay street between Park and Liberty streets were 
in flames, the sight was one that struck terror to the hearts of the stoutest fire- 
man attached to the Baltimore fire department. The flames fed from the 
material of the stables, carpenter and paint shops, united and twisted into col- 
umns of flame and smoke, mounting until nothing else could be seen rolling 
along the street and above the housetops. Men of iron nerves shrank back 
from the scorching blast which met them. At fifteen minutes past eleven 
o'clock the entire portion of St. Alphonsus parish school was in flames, and che 
building being four stories in height the flames found it an easy task to leap 
from the school to the houses east and west. Up to half past twelve o'clock it 
was thought that the Central Presbyterian Church at the corner of Saratoga 
and Liberty streets would be saved, but about that hour the wind which was 
blowing a strong breeze from the south-west, whirled myraids of sparks from 
the rear, and baptized the building in fire. Mr. T. Flagler, agent for the 
Babcock fire extinguisher, was stationed in the church with assistants and 
extinguishers. When the tower caught in several places he ascended with his 
apparatus and held the position until driven by the flames below. At one 
o'clock the church had fairly caught. The engines directed their streams upon 
it in vain. The fire roared through the sanctuary, and the main auditorium 
glowed like a red-hot furnace. Flames first ignited the wooden cornice of the 
tower at the north-east corner of the church and crept down the brick work 
from window cornice to the wooden cornice of the church, licking up every 
inch of combustible material. The joists of the tower floors fell from story to 
story as they burned, and finally the whole interior of the edifice was a sea of 
flame. A great deal of the church furniture, cushions, etc., were removed to 
Charles street, but the fire found food enough in the floors, chancel-rails, 
pews and other stationary furniture to satisfy the devouring element. When 
the stained glass windows had given away and the doors and vestibules burned, 
the roaring interior was revealed in all its fiery grandeur, sending forth a scorch- 
ing heat which threatened to be resistless. The tower in a coronet of flames, 
was a magnificent spectacle even with the disadvantage of bright sunlight. 
Had it been dark, the splendor of the conflagration would have impressed one 
for a life time, as it was, the spectators could be sensible only of the terror of the 
devouring element. By half past one o'clock the whole square on the south 






128 N. Second Street, Philadelphia. 




H. Warden, President. E, C. Lee, Sec. and Treas. Alex. C. Humphreys, Genl. Supt. 
S. T. Bodine, Genl. Mgr. Randall Morgan, Gen. Counsel. Walton Clark, Asst. Genl. Supt. 

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side of Saratoga street from the church down to Park street, was wrapped in 
flames, totally consuming the church and some nine first-class four-story 
dwellings, besides St. Alphonsus' school, a house of the Sisters of Notre 
Dame and other buildings on the square, the heat was so intense and the smoke 
so thick that the firemen could with difficulty operate. Early in the day when 
the houses of the south side had been attacked in the rear, many of the occupants 
of the dwellings had turned their furniture out into the street, where it was 
broken or carried off or remained to impede the firemen. 

'Scorching flames swept across the street, unusually wide at this point 
blistering the fronts of the dwellings on the north side of Saratoga street, threat- 
ening the costly mansions and St. Alphonsus' Church, at the northeast corner 
of Saratoga and Park streets, on this square, north side, were the residences of 
several well-known citizens including that of Prof. N. R. Smith, Johns Hopkins, 
A. S. Abell, and adjoining the house of the latter, the old Wyatt Mansion, the 
parsonage of St. Paul's P. E. Church, a land mark of the early days of Baltimore, 
situated at the head of Liberty street, St. Alphonsus' Church and the dwellings 
on that side of the street, were constantly menaced with destruction. As well 
as they could, the firemen played upon the fronts of the houses, but the steady 
breeze wafted every minute fresh showers of fire. The sun was darkened by 
the clouds of stifling smoke. Priest and Parishioners flocked to the rescue of 
St. Alphonsus, covering the roofs of the adjoining houses with their numbers, 
and lending all their energies in the eSort, successful at last in saving the edifice. 
From the first and throughout the conflagration the bell of St. Alphonsus sounded 
the alarm, and summoned the faithful to labor in saving the church. The result 
shows that the German catholics of the parish worked well. At one time the 
towering spire of St. Alphonsus, with its gleaming cross on the finial, could be 
seen only at intervals through the smoke and lurid atmosphere which surrounded 
the scene of the disaster. 

While the conflagration was raging in this neighborhood, a reporter of 
"The Baltimore Sun" ascended the roof of one of the large mansions on the 
north side of Saratoga street, facing the course of the fire. The spectacle was 
in every way appalling. The scorching breath of the fire current was just as 
much as a determined man could stand. While the air was thick with cinders 
and red-hot coals, in front was the burning mass of buildings, to the west the 
house-tops on the north side were thick with men. Fire extinguishers were in 
frequent use; every time a spark would ignite the roof of a house there were 
plenty of willing hands to quench it. The struggle was of several hours duration, 
but the block was saved. In the rear, the dome of the Cathedral appeared in 
the light of a habitable globe, a number of men at great personal risk, exposed 
themselves on its giddy height, and were continuous in their efforts to prevent 
its taking fire, with water and wet blankets. The escape of the Cathedral from 
fire was in large part due to the exertions of James P. Rock, Mr. Walsh, and 
Gustavus Creaney, the last named ventured his life by descending the dome and 
nailing the blankets which were kept constantly wet. Valuable aid was also 
rendered by Mr. Stork, John McNully, Charles Arthur, Alfred Reip, Joseph 
Miskelly and Mr. Walsh, who also did good service in rigging up the ladder 
used in reaching the threatened point. There were others whose courage 



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BREWEEY: 3 2d and Master Streets, OmOE: N. E. Oor. 3d and Buttonwood Street, 






Sold by IJruggists or mailed free, $1.00. 
Dr. W. B. JONES, Specialist, treats Catarrh fref,. 
Office, 48 N. 11th Street, 11 a. m. to H p. m. Testimonials 
and symptom blanlts true. 

J'Hll.ADELPHIA, Pa., Oct. 7th, 1891. 

Dr. Wm. B. .Tones: -Permit me to extend you my 
lieartfcit thanks for the complete recovery of mv 
child from a very severe ca.te of Catarrh, through 
1 lie of only V.\ of a bottle of the American Catarrh 
Cure. I feel that tliis was a "wonderful cure," and 
gladly give my testimony in the hope, that ray ex- 
perience will lend to the cure of some person who 
suffered as my child did, feeling sure that It will 
cure any case of Catarrh for which it is recommended 

Very respectfully, 
Mjts. A.c;. RENKIIARDT, No. 1504 Di.-kinsou Street. 

310, 312 and 314 Branch St., and 317 Bace St., Philadelphia. 

By Steam Power and Patented Machinery every variety of Round and Square Boxes made to order. Greatest 
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deserves equal praise, but whose names could not be ascertained. There were 
relays of volunteers every half hour on the dome, which was covered in part 
with shingles and partly with metal. On the south side of Saratoga street, 
between Park and Liberty street, the following buildings were burned : Mr. J. 
O. Horsey's dwelling No. 86, adjoining the Central Presbyterian Church on the 
west; No. 88, Mrs. Mary Curtain ; No. 90, F. J. Bottomer, ladies shoemaker ; 
No. 92, owned by Thomas Wehle, and occupied by Mrs. Winchester as a 
boarding house, and D. F. Dindsej' as an office ; No. 94, owned and occupied 
by Mrs. James M. Hary, Dr. Powell's office in it ; No. 96, Mrs. Margaret 
Dieter's dwelling, one of the most extensive losers by the fire, owning six valu- 
able houses ; No. 98, unoccupied, owned by Mrs. Dieter , No. loo Mrs. Middle- 
ton's boarding house ; No. T02, Sisters of Notre Dame : No. 104, St. Alphonsus 
school and hall with school and library in the rear running back to Clay street ; 
No. 106, dwelling, unoccupied ; No. 108, Sullivan's plumbing shop, at the 
southwest corner of Saratoga and Park street occupied by Simon Lean, feather 
dealer, Across Park street, the following burned on Saratoga street : No. 118, 
T.J. Gormley, house painter; No. 120, A. Ostendorf, jeweler; Nr. 122, T. 
Lautner, merchant tailor ; No. 124, Mrs. Hooks, confectionery ; No. 126, John 
Weiss, restaurant , No. 128, Neiderls, restaurant; No. 130, Geisler, shoemaker; 
No. 132, Ostendorf 's dwelling ; No. 134, Litz's restaurant; No. 136, Adler's 
cigar shop ; the fire here stopped at Central Hall lager beer house, No. 138 West 
Saratoga street. 

At fifteen minutes before eleven o'clock, fire was discovered on the roof 
of the three-story dwelling north-east corner of Mulberry and Park streets, and 
from the fact that all the steam engines were busily engaged on Cla}^ Park and 
Saratoga streets, considerable time elapsed before any water could be thrown 
upon the new fire, which had broken out at the locality just mentioned, and by 
the time a steam engine could be dispatched to the place the roofs of six houses 
were in flames, and threatening to extend to Cathedral street, but fortunately 
the flames were mastered b)^ the firemen after a hard fight, and the magnificent 
dwellings on Cathedral street opposite the Cathedral were saved. At half past 
eleven o'clock a one-story structure connected with the Maryland Universit}', 
situated on Mulberry street opposite, was set on fire by embers wafted from 
Clay street, and destroyed, and it was with the greatest difficulty that the 
Academy of Science and its costly models, etc., were prevented from sharing a 
similar fate. The roof of tha Academy was on fire so often that the greater 
portion of the shingles had to be removed, and had not a large number of 
gentlemen formed an independent fire brigade and battled with the fire upon 
roofs along Mulberry street, there is no estimating when and where the confla- 
gration would have spent its fury. Notwithstanding the fact that the wind was 
blowing freshly from the southwest, the flames advanced westwardly along Clay 
street from Park, with alariuing rapidity, defiant as they were, the firemen 
fought them inch by inch and finally succeeded in checking them east of 
Howard street, but not before many buildings had been leveled. The most 
important structure on the street and next to the Thomas mill, was a large 
four story brick building about sixty feet in length and forty in width, and was 
known as the silk factory ; it was erected at the instance of a number of 



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capitalists who intended to enter largely into the manufacture of ribbons 
and other silk goods; but fortunately for the gentlemen interested no machinery 
had been purchased. The building was supposed to have been fire proof, 
being supplied with heavy iron shutters and doors, which offered little or no 
resistance to the mighty heat which rushed against them. The building was 
totally destroyed. 

From Clay street the flames extended through to Mulberry street, west of 
Park, but were confined to the south side and destroyed no very valuable build- 
ings. The firemen fought nobly to prevent the flames from crossing Mulberry 
street, knowing full well that if the north side of the street was fired, that the 
flames would stretch along Larew's alley where was located stables and carpenter 
shops in abundance, fears were also entertained that the extensive shops of 
Robert Renwick & Sons, extending from Howard street to Larew's alle^-, woiild 
take fire from the shower of vSparks which fell about the place, but by constant 
watching and free application of water, the danger was averted. There were 
several buildings destroyed on the north side of Mulberry street, as follows : 
No. 49, on the northeast corner of Mulberry and Park street, a brick building 
occupied by Mrs. Hopkins, dressmaker; the adjoining house No. 47, occupied 
and owned by Mr. Roby; No. 45, occupied by Miss Green and owned by Mrs. 
Curley; No. 43, occupied and owned by Mrs. Mathew Foley, mother of Bishop 
Foley of Chicago, and Rev. Father Foley of Baltimore; No. 41, occupied by 
Mrs. Crow as a boarding house, and owned by Wm. West; No. 39, unoccupied; 
No. 37, occupied by Miss Cross, and owned by Enoch Pratt; Nos. 49 and 47 
were gutted by fire; No, 45 was damaged badly, but the others were not very 
seriously damaged. 

By three o'clock the firemen had gained such a mastery over the flames,* 
that persons were enabled to pass through the streets over which the fire 
had swept. Members of the fire department and the policemen, however, 
were the only individuals who cared to tread those super-heated paths, as 
there was a very great danger of being crushed to death by falling walls. 
"Wherever practicable the firemen pulled or pushed down threatening walls 
and barricaded streets that indicated danger to pedestrians. Following the 
track of the fire in its course from the starting point and then returning to that 
destroyed west of the planing mill, it will be found that the following property 
was destroyed. 

On the east side of Park street, between Saratoga and lycxington street, 
the destruction of property was not very great, it consisted of a small two-story 
brick at the corner of Clay and Park streets, occupied by S. Levy, tailor and 
scourer; Edward Clark, junk dealer; an adjoining building occupied by Hoover 
& Hopps, painters, a small one story brick, occupied by Mr. Mullen, a marble 
cutter; a dwelling adjoining occupied by Geo. Fitzgerald, tinsmith and machine 
shop. On the west side of Park street, at the southwest corner of Park and Clay 
streets, was a three story brick owned and occupied by Edward Kraeger, shoe- 
maker; the next house southward, was owned and occupied as a dwelling and 
workshop by Caleb Myer, tin and coppersmith; next a three story brick owned 
and occupied by Thomas Doyle, carter; the next a three story brick occupied 
by HeflFner, tailor, was totally destroyed; the next building was a three story 


Organized 1817. -^jyjy- Incorporated 1820. 



Office 407 and 409 Walnut Street. 


Capital, paid up, ...-.$ .500.000 00 
Assets, January 1st, 1891, .... 4,846,419 00 

Net Surplus, .-.--. 1,046,14200 

Losses paid, over ..... 16,000,000 00 

Tie mifiiiiowii ill WIS, 


Iron Beams, Angles and Otlier Shapes, 
Merchant Bar Iron, Kolled Shafting, 

Turn Tables, Blast Furnace and Itolling 
Mill Machinery and Castings. 

General Office, 237 S. Third St., Ptiiia. Works at Allentown, Pa. 

EDWARD CORNING & CO., Sales Agents, 39 Broadwav, New York, 237 Soulli 
Third Street, Philadelphia, 70 Kilby Street, Boston 

J. R. FELL. President, 11. W ALLISON, Sec. & Treas., 

237 S. 3d St., Phila. Allentown, Pa. 


dwelling and store owned and occupied by Frank Seper; a three story dwelling 
occupied by a German family name not ascertained; Thomas C. Burton, house 
furnisher, owned and occupied three story dwelling No. 32 Park street; No. 30, 
was occupied and owned by Dorton, tobacconist; the adjoining house at the 
northwest corner of Park and Lexington was damaged slightly on the roof, the 
lower floor was occupied by Dr. Moore, as a drug store, whose stock was badly 
damaged by hasty removal. 

North of Clay street and on the west side of Park the following houses 
were destroyed : Two three story brick dwellings and stores, owned and occu- 
pied by Mrs- Kraft as a provision store, the adjoining house was occupied by 
Carruthers, plumber and gasfitter; the other houses in the square and extending 
northward, were occupied by the following persons : Samuel Clark; Rogers, 
liquor dealer; Fred. K. Litz, restaurant; A. Kunkle, restaurant. 

The loss on Clay street east of Park, was as follows : Three story brick 
shop owned and occupied by John S. and James H. Hogg, builders and carpen- 
ters; the upper stories of this building was occupied by a number of lodges of 
colored Odd Fellows and other colored associations, whose loss in regalia and 
furniture was quite heavy; the rear of the dwelling of Jacob Huiser, corner of 
Liberty and Clay street was slightly damaged; three dwellings owned by Cum- 
berland Dugan; stable and dwelling owned by Samuel Ard, two three srorv^ 
dwellings owned by P. Dietrich; a four story brick building, unoccupied, three 
story brick building owned by Mr, Rodensick, painter; two story brick carpenter 
shop, owned and occupied by Mr. George; rear portion of the stable of John 
Stewart; two story dwelling owned by Jacob Seeger. 

On Clay street west of Park, the structures destroyed were : The planing 
mill of J. Thomas & Sons; after the mill just mentioned the flames destroyed 
two two story brick dwellings owned by Mrs. Samuel Hindes; the large building 
known as the silk works; three story dwelling owned and occupied by Lizzie 
Miller; a carpenter shop adjoined the building just noted, was owned and occu- 
pied by F. Bulky; a four story brick building adjoined the carpenter shop, and 
was owned by Police Commissioner Morse, and occupied by Mr. Sudsberg, Mr. 
Mr, Carver, and by Mr. Harrison, manufacturer of cigars, and also b}'^ Mr. 
Taylor, painter; a two and a-half story brick building owned and occupied by 
Lou Where, cabinet-maker; two story brick owned by Lou Where, and occupied 
by C. Evans, painter. 

With the exception of the destruction of the Lutheran Church parsonage 
and a portion of Mr. Stewart's stables, the destruction on Lexington street was 
not very extensive. The roofs and back buildings of all the stores and dwellings 
on the north side of the street west of Park, and extending to the parsonage of 
the Lutheran Church were damaged. The houses damaged were; No. 119, 
occupied by Mr. McCaffert}', hat and bonnet bleacher; 121 and 123 owned by 
Mrs. J. E. Thomas; 125, owned and occupied by J, Roberts, shoemaker; the 
next building was the parsonage occupied by Rev. Mr. Barclay, whose family 
were at home, but he was absent at Easton. 

On the northeast corner of Liberty and Saratoga streets, the large building 
which was then occupied by Mrs. Kent as a boarding house was uninjured; it 
was several times in great peril, and was only saved through watchful care and 



RcsUlcm) Oclolxr i«, t>;i- 



128 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. 


New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Boston, San Francisco, 

St. Louis, Birmingham. 

Works — Edgewater, Bergen County, New Jersey. 


M. Am. Soc. C. E. 

Engineer, Contractor and Builder, 

Hale Building, Rooms 42 & 43, 

Southern Office — Commercial Bank Building, 

Roanoke, Va. 


judicious arrangement of the fire department; No. 83; adjoining, owned and 
occupied b}' Mr. Frederick Fickey, was only saved through the hard exertions 
af that gentleman and his friends; No. 81, occupied by Mrs. Wickings, dress- 
maker, was uninjured b)' fire and the loss sustained was principally (although 
somewhat by water) by the removal of the furniture, Mrs. Wickings owned the 
house; the same may be said of No. 97, occupied by Mrs. Jane Curry, and owned 
by that lady; No. 77, owned and occupied by MissTackenberg; No. 75, occupied 
by Mrs. Wright and owned by Mr. Dr. Lynch, and No. 73, corner of Barnet 
and Liberty streets, occupied by Mrs. Lough, and owned by Mrs. Dr. Lynch. 
No damage was sustained upon houses below Barnet street, and the damage 
sustained by those already mentioned was slight, in fact mostly from the removal 
of furniture. Upon the west side of Libert}^ street and in close proximity to the 
First Presbyterian Church, the damage sustained was somewhat greater, at No. 
62, occupied by Mrs. James, the back building was burned and the house flooded 
with water, no one being present; at No. 60, occupied by Mr. Julian Fairfax, 
and owned by Mr. Reese, president of the Howard Fire Insurance Company, the 
back building was burned and the house flooded with water; at No. 58, owned 
and occupied by Mrs. Hannah Gildener, the loss was principally by water and 
removal of furniture. * 

Both of the burned churches po.ssess historic interest, the Central Presby- 
*terian Church was one of the largest structures in the city. Built of brick with 
an imposing square tower and large auditorium, which at that time had been 
brought into prominence among members of the denomination from all parts of 
the United States as well as foreign countries, on account of the recent convo- 
cation within its walls, of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of 
the United States. The church was built in 1855 for its first pastor. Rev. Stuart 
Robison. He was minister up to 1857, upon the resignation of his charge to go 
to Louisville, Ky., he was succeeded by Rev. J. E. Peck, D. D., who remained 
up to 1859. Rev. Dr. Peck was succeeded by Rev. G. Dunlap, who had charge 
of the congregation up to 1861, when he was succeeded in his apostolic mission 
by Rev. Jos. T. Smith, D. D., who was ordained early in the year 1862, and 
was at the time of the fire pastor of the church. The Elders under Rev. Dr. 
Smith were Dr. James Mclntire, Wm. Boggs, James Warden, Richard K. Cross, 
Edward I. Small and W^m. H. Cole; the Deacons, Wm. D. Cross, E.J. D. Cross. 
Archibald McElmole, Hardy Loficope, Theo. K. Miller, Louis C. Dretch, Wm. 
Reynolds, R. H. Milliken and Henry G. Tyson. The original cost of the church 
was $70,000, exclusive of the organ built in 1863, by Henry Erben of New York, 
at a cost of $2,500 Nothing but the bare brick of the walls and tower remained 

The corner-stone of the First English Lutheran Church was laid in 1825. 
It was a plain brick structure with brick columns covered with plaster, forming 
a portico in front. The fiist sermon was preached in the edifice by Rev. John 
G. Morris, in February 1827. Dr. Morris was pastor for thirty-five years, when 
in 1862 he was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. John McCron, whose ministry up to 
September 1872, was eminently successful, as Dr. McCron was not only a finished 
theologian, but a pulpit orator with but few superiors. Dr. McCron resigned 
his charge in September 1872, he was shortly afterwards succeeded by the Rev. 


V I ®f 

^i[i=J t=j^ ^cs 






Residences- 1707 Master St., or 143 1 North 15th St. 





Yards — Twenty-Sixth and York Streets. 

Twenty- Second and Cumberland Streets. 
Twenty- Fourth and Norris Streets. 
Twenty Sixth and Diamond Streets. 











Joseph H. Barcla}-, of eastern Pennsylvania, whose niinislrj' proved eminently 
successful. The Elders under Rev. Mr. Barclay were : Me.ssrs, vSaniuel Appold, 
Jacob Ehrinan, James Math*ers and Oliver K. I^antz, the Deacons, Drs. Hill and 
Eafar, G. J. Doel and Colladay. 

During the progress of the fire, a large number of persons were detected 
by the policemen pilfering goods, and some of the parties were arrested. The 
number was so great, however, that it was found impossible to all, and 
the officers had to be content in a large number of cases with recovering the 
goods, and then letting the depredators go, Augustus Byrnes and Charles 
Bowers were arrestedby Sergeant Droste, for stealing a lot of brass spigots; C. 
E. Woodyear, colored, was arrested by Policeman Bruchey, for stealing a pair of 
boots and a box of cigars and other articles, the property of M, Ooldener, No. 
58 North Liberty street; Rose Dixon, colored, was arre.sted by Sergeant Wyatt, 
for stealing a lot of clothing, the property of A, Adler. No. 138 Saratoga .street, 
All the parties were committed for the action of the Grand Jury by Ju.stice Bell. 
Charles Myers was arrested by Policemad Hogan; charged with stealing one 
pair of opera-glasses, a card case, pair of sleeve buttons and six keys, the 
property of Jacob Grantree, No, 52 North Liberty street, and committed for the 
action of the Grand Jury by Justice Haggerty. 

Gen. R. H. Carr, commanding general of the Second Brigade, M. N. G., 
soon after the fire gained headway issued an order calling oilt the Sixth Regi- 
ment, Col. Clarence Peters, to as.sist in protecting property from depredation, if 
their services were needed for that purpose, the order was as follows : 

Baltimore, July 25th, 1873. 
Headquarters Second Brigade, M. M. G : 

Special Orders No. 9— Col. Clarence Peters commanding Sixth Regiment 
Infantry, M. N. G., will hold his command in readiness to assist the police 
commissioners in case they should need his services for the purpose of protecting 
property from depredation. 

R. H. CARR. Brevet Major-Gen'l, 
Thos. J. McKaig, Jr., Colonel and Chief of Stafi\ 

In compliance with the above, Col. Peters issued the following : 

Baltimore, July 25th, 1873. 
Headquarters Sixth Regiment Infantry, M. N. G. 

General Orders No. 11. 
In accordance with Special Orders No. 9, Headquarters Second Brigade, 
this command will assemble at the Armory, on this Friday evening at eight 
o'clock, fully armed and equipped for duty. By order, 

[Official.] CLARENCE PETERS, Col. Commanding. 

A.J. O'Connor, Acting Adjutant, 

In accordance with the order a large number of the command assembled 
at the Armory, but it was not found necessary to call upon them for assistance, 
and after remaining there until about nine o'clock, they were dismissed by the 
Colonel, with the understanding that they should reassemble in case the fire 


407-415 N. Third Street, 


' The undersigned, desires to in- 
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generally, that he has assumed the 
management of this well known 
Hotel, and that he will endeavor 
to carry it on as a first-class house. 
Accommodations for 300 Guests. 

Transient Rates per day, .. $1.50 

Table Board per week 4 00 

Table Meals, 6 tickets good 
for any meal i 50 

Breakfast from 6 to 9 o'clock a.m. 
Dinner from 12 to 2 o'clock p. m. 
Supper from 6 to 9 o'clock p. m. 


D. A. IPRIDLIZy^, Proprietor. 

Eleventh^ Noble and Ridge Avenue^ 

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The Strongest Blank Book ever made. 
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broke out again. About fifty-five policemen were on duty in the burned district 
during the night, for the purpose of protecting the property, and keeping persons 
from approaching too near the crumbling walls. 

During the hours the fire was most threatening the excitement was intense. 
The lower business portion of the city and all the streets concentrating on the 
burned district, were thronged with people, men, women and children. 
Nearly everybody seemed to be carrying some article of furniture, women were 
hurrying in affright with bundles of books, clothing, etc., ane in one instance a 
lady with gray curls was discovered making her way through the crowd with 
a bird cage in one hand and a china vase in the other. Carts and wagons 
loaded with furniture, thronged every thoroughfare, while piles of bedsteads, 
pictures, household utensils, clothing, broken mirrors and all other articles, 
were scattered around in the vicinity of the fire, and trampled under foot. 
In numerous instances excited women knelt before the Cathedral and offered up 
their prayers. 

Every available wagon and cart to be seen was brought into requisition, 
and where the driver did not voluntarily offer his services, the vehicle was 
captured by the police. Thus much valuable property was taken to places of 
safety, to be more easily found than if left as thousands of dollars worth of 
furniture was, upon the public streets. The demand for wagons, carts, drays, 
etc., was of course great, and the price paid therefor in many instances was 
exorbitant. Many ludicrous episodes occurred in persons throwing in their 
goods and chattels, striving who should be first to secure the vehicle. Among 
the poorer class of persons their distress was touching when seen wringing 
their hands and crying piteously. They would frequently exclaim : "We have 
nowhere to rest our heads to-night;" and eight o'clock saw several females 
seated upon charred beams or planks where they intended to pass to them, the 
solitary and gloomy night. Messrs. C. P. Stevens, furniture mamufacturer, 
James D. Gilmour, of the Eutaw House and Mr. Herring, of Adams Express 
Company, sent their wagons to the scene of the conflagration, to render any 
assistance to the sufferers that they might desire. Their consideration and kind- 
ness was warmly complimented. 

At about 6:45 o'clock, the wall of the Central Presbyterian Church, 
facing on Liberty street, fell with a tremendous crash. As the tower had 
been looked upon as sure to fall, the immense concourse of spectators were 
seized with a panic, and fled precitately in every direction. The tower, how- 
ever, was left standing, although having a crack extending from base to top on 
its east side. 

From the residence of Mrs. Foley, the mother of Bishop Foley and the 
Rev. Father John Foley, after everything was thought to have been removed, 
one hundred dollars' worth of silverware was found and properly secured by the 

Smoke was discovered issuing several times from beneath the zinc covering 
of the Cathedral dome; precautionary measures were at once resorted to by 
placing wet blankets upon it. The wooden slats in the beautiful tower of St. 
Alphonsus' Church were several times on fire, but were saturated with water by 
Messrs. Johnson and Wm. C. Myers, and the fire put out. The same gentlemen 


Carriage and Wagon Builders. 

Kepairing of all Kinds Promptly Done. 

All Work Warranted. Carriages and Wagons of Every Description Built 

to Order. 

Office and Factor t/, 1132 and 1134^^1Uice Street, 




1 1 27 RACK SXREBX. 

|^~A11 work warranted to give satisfaction and 
promptly attended to. Particular attention paid to 
the Shoeing of Gentlemen's Road Horses. 


rendered very efl5cient aid by removing the costly articles from the chancel of the 
church, as well as banners, etc., from the auditorium. The articles were taken 
to the Cathedral. 

An Attorney-at-law, while passing through the burned district on the 
evening of the fire, discovered that both the plaintiff and defendant in a 
warmly-contested suit, pending in the Court of Common Pleas, which was 
was to be heard at the September term, had been completely burned out. The 
parties to the suit lived adjoining on the south side of Saratoga street, and as it 
was supposed at the time, the action of the fiery element brought the arbitrament 
to a close. 

Miss Craft, daughter of the keeper of a small store, corner of Clay and 
Park streets, being in a delicase state of health, was completely overcome with 
excitement and fright. She was removed in that condition from the burning 
building and died the same evening. 

John Cook, Jr., of No. lo Engine, received a severe cut upon the head 
from a falling missile. He was removed in a wagon to his residence on Schroder 
street near Saratoga, by Sergeant Gallagher and Policeman Claiborne; Charles 
Nelson, substitute of Engine No. 5, was overcome bv the heat, and attended by 
Dr. J. E. P. Boulden. While at work in the burning building at the corner of 
Mulberry and Park streets, George Houck, foreman, Wesley Lilly and Charles 
Hall, extra men of Truck No. 2, met with a terrible accident; Eilly and Hall 
were in the second story of the building, directing a stream of water upon the 
floor, when suddenly a cloud of smoke and steam was thrown up, caused by the 
water from the pipes giving draft to a pile of smouldering fire under a heap of 
plaster. The steam so suddenly generated and released, enveloped Lilly 
and Hall, scalding their faces, necks and hands terribly. Foreman Houck was 
thrown with great violence against a wall and badly injured about his legs. 
Lilly and Hall were removed to a drug store, at the corner of Howard and 
Franklin streets, where their injuries were dressed, after which Lilly was 
removed to his home on Division street, and Hall to his home. No. 228 German 
street. Wm. Snowden, a member of No* 4 Engine Company, was badly cut and 
bruised by falling bricks, which fell from one of the houses on Lexington steeet 
near the Lutheran Church. 

At 1 1 -.$0 a. m., when the magnitude of the conflagration was fully antici. 
pated, a dispatch was forwarded to Washington asking for help, as follows : 
To the Chief Engineer of the Washington City Fire Department : 

"Send every spare engine and carriage here immediately," 

H. SPILMAN. Chief Engineer." 

This message on reaching Washington City, was delivered to Mr. Martin 
Cronin. chief of the fire department, and in one hour's time Engines Nos. 2 and 
3 fully equipped, having wilh them a compound pipe, arrived at Camden station 
under the charge of Chief Cronin, assisted by Mr. John Williams, president of 
the Board of Fire Commissioners, and Commissioner Joseph Williams. The 
distance from Washington to Baltimore was made in thirty-nine minutes. Chief 
Cronin at once reported to Chief Spillman. The oflScers and members of Engine 
Company No. 2, the Franklin, were : Charles Hurdle, foreman; John Sinclair, 







T. C. JENKINS. Xelephone 691. F. R. SWALLOW. 

Washington Ice and Coal Company, 

Wholesale and Retail Shippers of and Dealers in 



Wharfage, Steam Hoisting and Hauling, 
Office, IVo. 13 ^ro-v^rix St. 

Shipping Depot, Brown Street Market Wharf. 



Samuel Dawes, Samuel Ricks, Hugh Myers, Philip Meredith and "Wm. Hunt. 
The officers and members of No. 3, the Columbian, were : James Lowe, fore- 
man; Daniel Barron, Joseph Smith, Michael Kane, Walter Cox, Francis Lewis, 
Conrad Kaufman, (Lewis Low, representative of No. i Truck), John Fisher, 
F. P. Blair, James Frazier, L. T. Follansbee, (exempt). Each company had 
their horses, hose carriages and 900 feet of hose. The following gentlemen also 
accompanied the firemen : Philip Julian, secretary of the Washington Board of 
Fire Commissioners; Robert H. Barker, member of the Fire Board; Arthur 
Sheppard, member of the Washington Common Council; Lewis Kelly, John 
Clarvoe and Wm. Coombs, of the Washington Detective Force. 

The locomotive which accomplished this extraordinary feat of running 42 
miles in 39 minutes, was No. 413, and was in charge of Samuel Bucky, engineer. 
The train consisted of three gondolas and one passenger coach, Capt. Wm Bines, 
conductor, and all in charge of Col. Koontz, agent for the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad at Washington. 

The Washington Star oi July 25th, 1873, contained the following, which 
will explain itself ; 

Navy Department, Washington, July 2Sth, 1873. 
Rear-Admiral L. M. Goldsborough, Commandant of Navy Yard : 

Sir — In consequence of the great fire raging in Baltimore, a portion of the 
steam fire engines of this city have been sent there. To provide against any 
necessary danger here during the absence of the city force, you are directed to 
permit the steam engine belonging to the Navy Yard, to be stationed at the 
house of No. 3 Engine on Capitol Hill. The men in charge of the engine 
specially, may be detailed to accompany it, and in case of fire at the Yard it 
will be summoned at once by telegraph. The assistant chief engineer of the 
fire department. Col. W. O. Drew, will carry this letter to you, and you will be 
pleased to render him every assistance in this behalf. 

Yery respectfully, 
GEORGE ROBESON, Secretary of the Navy. 

After the services of the Washington fire department could be dispensed 
with, they were regaled with a fine supper tendered them by the Board ot Fire 
Commissioners, and at ten minutes to nine o'clock the whole-souled Metropolitan 
Firemen returned to Washington, carrying with them the hearty blessings of the 
citizens, and every assurance of brotherly feeling of Baltimore firemen. At this 
fire there were more buildings consumed and more people rendered homeless 
than at any fire that has ever occurred in Baltimore. 



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^|'::v^PRIL, loth, a fire originated in a frame house near the corner of Second 
,^ iS^^ and Ferrj' streets. There was a high wind blowing at the time, 
i^^^^ veering from point to point during the whole afternoon, which caused 
the fire to rage with great fury until five o'clock. Nearly all that portion of the 
city extending from Ferry street to the Monongahela river, and from thence to 
the city line was destroyed. The [fire spread to Market street, as far as the 
south side of Third street, up Wood street as far as the south side of Diamond 
alley; from Smithfield to Fourth street— in all twenty-one squares, comprising 
twelve hundred buildings, many of them large warehouses, containing goods of 
immense value. 

The rapid progress of the fire prevented the people from removing their 
goods and furniture ; while many persons, supposing themselves out of danger, 
delayed until it was too late; and some removed their property, only to have it- 
destroyed in the streets by the flames. The Council met in the afternoon, and 
it was proposed to blow up some of the buildings to arrest the progress of the 
fire, which proved ineffectual, as the flames made such rapid progress, it was 
found to be impossible to lay a train of powder before the building would be 
enveloped in the flames. The firemen displayed untiring zeal, and would have 
accomplished much more had there been a good supply of water. The following 
are the principal buildings destroyed ; The Globe Cotton Works, corner of 
Second and Ferry streets; City Insurance Ofiice, Market street; Bank of Pitts- 
burg, between Market and Wood streets; Daily Chronicle Job Printing office; 
Merchants' Hotel, corner of Third and Wood streets; A. Kramer's exchange 
office; W. A. Hill's exchange office, Patersbn's livery stables, and Blacknell's 
glass works; the Monongahela House and Bridge with the Dallas Iron Works. 
The loss sustained in the above buildings was immense, but it was small when 
compared with the destruction of merchandise in the warehouses on Water, 
Wood, F'irst and Second streets. 

The merchants found it impossible to save much if anything, and the 
most they could do was to make an efibrt to save their books, and but few even 
succeeded in saving these, as whole blocks of buildings were destroyed in an 
incredibly short time. The whole of the south ward of the city was destroyed, 
with the exception of two or three houses, and one of them by a singular omis- 
sion in the construction, was a frame one. The distress of the houseless poor 
was appalling. After dark might have been seen in every direction families 
without shelter guarding such portion of their furniture as they were able to 
save from the flames, and not knowing where to lay their heads, or get a morsel 



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of food. Frightful as was the progress of the flames, and terrible as the havoc 
seemed while the fire was raging, no one could realize the losses and privations 
the citizens sustained until they had walked through the forest of chimne\'S 
which marked the path of the destroj'ing element. Merchants, mechanics and 
workingmen — all were ruined. That night ruin stared hundreds of familes in 
the face who had arisen in the morning with plenty of this world's goods, 
and the}' found no place whereon to lay their heads, or even food for their 
children. Men, who the day before were worth their thousands, to-day were 
bankrupt. Loss $12,000,000. 

April 12th, 1848, this city was visited with five very destructive fires. 
The first broke out in a stable near the canal, and before it could be subdued, 
twenty-six dwelling houses and three smoke houses, containing 400,000 pounds 
of bacon, were destroyed, belonging to Holmes & Brother, Jordan & Son, 
Acheron & Dagg, and Carson & McKingle. Loss $1 20,000. 

On October 28th, 1751, afire broke out in the flour mill of Wilmarth & 
Noble, and in less than three hours the building was entirely destroyed, with a 
large amount of flour and grain. These were the largest mills of the kind in 
state. Loss ^150,000. 




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eis ooiLs/i-L/iEiiEecE sxiisEiEsa:, 


VO^JHE City of Portland, on the Fourth of July, iS66, was one of the finest 
f H^ cities in the Union. The beauty of its location, and the magnificent 
c©^5 prospect by which it is environed have long been the admiration of 
tourists and the pride and boast of all its citizens. Situated as it is on an 
elevated peninsula, jutting into a land-locked and island-dotted harbor in 
Casco Bay, its wide streets shaded by huge elms, which have gained for it the 
name of the Forest City. Its fine buildings and elegant private residences; the 
delightful scenery seaward; over the far-reaching waters of Casco Bay, with its 
emerald isles; the ocean and rocky shores of the Cape, and landward the lofty 
summits of the White Mountains looming up like great blue storm-clouds upon 
the sky, formed all together a combination. 

Since 1632, the first year of its settlement, it had been subjected to many 
severe disasters. In 1675 it was a flourishing town, but in the Indian War of 
that year it was sacked by the savages, who destroyed every vestige of improve- 
ment, and prostrated by firebrand and tomahawk the whole settlement in 
indiscriminate ruin. Again in 1690 the place was attacked by the French and 
Indians, the houses burned, and many of the settlers killed. Fort Loyal, which 
stood at the foot of India street, was beseiged and captured, and the garrison 
carried off prisoners to Canada. A third time it was destroyed by the British 
under Mowatt in 1775. Anchoring his fleet off the town, he bombarded the 
place while it was yet occupied by women and children. All the compact 
part of the town was destroyed, the total number of buildings burned being 
414, of which 136 were dwelling houses. The situation of the inhabitants after 
the fire was one of great distress and suffering, and the town remained desolate 
for years. 

For more than three-quarters of a century after the Revolutionary War, 
Portland had enjoyed an almost uninterrupted period of great prosperity. 
During the past twenty years the enterprise of its merchants and business men 
had largely increased the commercial relations of the city. The extension of 
railroad lines, the establishment of steamboat routes, and its advantageous 
geographical position, had given it a gradual but substantial growth, and 
opened before its citizens the prospect of its becoming one of the most im- 
portant seaports of the country. The population of the city by the census taken 
in November 1865, was 30,124, and its total valuation for the same year was 








r iia tiiii^ ^^^o*eXvi>. 





30th and market STS. 


H. F. Bruner & Co. 


CO A Iv. 

32nd and market STS. 

Telephone 4600. PHILADELPHIA. 


And now in one night a disaster was to fall upon the city before which 
all the disasters of its colonial history were to dwindle into insignificance. In 
one night one-third of this vast amount of property was to be swept away ! 
One-third of the area of the city covering a large space of three hundred 
and twenty acres in the very heart of the city, was to be made a desolate and 
appalling waste. More than eight miles of streets, lined with substantial and 
elegant and costly buildings, and thronged by a busy and happy people, were 
to become an indistinguishable mass of ruins, amid which the houseless people 
would fail to recognize their once happy homes. All the banks, eight of the 
churches, all the newspaper offices and the lawyers' offices, one-half the 
manufacturing establishments, most of the large stores, hundreds of dwelling 
houses, and nearly all the public buildings, including the magnificent City Hall 
were to be laid in ashes, and what but the day before was a beautiful and most 
prosperous city was to become a scene of desolation melancholy to contemplate. 
Rich and poor were to be involved in one common ruin. Hundreds who had 
been in comfortable circumstances suddenly were to find themselves houseless, 
homeless and penniless. Fifteen hundred buildings were to be burned and ten 
thousand people were to be turned into the streets. Between two sunsets more 
than ten millions of dollars worth of the taxable property of the city was to be 
swept out of existence. 

But we are anticipating. The sun rose brightly on the morning of July 
4th, 1886 — fit harbinger of another anniversary of American Independence. 
Thousands of of country people had flocked to the city and tens of thousands 
both strangers and citizens, were looking forward to the enjoyment of the 
National Holiday. The day had passed pleasantly away with the'- parades 
and amusements which it afforded. It was near five o'clock in the afternoon, 
and the joyous crowds were looking forward eagerly to the letting ofif of the 
fireworks in the evening, when the tocsin sounded, and the cry of fire was 
heard. At the same time a puff of smoke went up before the eyes of the crowd, 
in the direction of the streets by the water. The fire had caught on the outside 
of Degnio's boat-builders shop. When first seen, it seemed a small matter, easily 
extinguished; but a strong southerly wind was blowing, which took the flames 
and cinders diagonally across the city. Commercial, be it remembered, is the 
great wholesale business avenue on the front or harbor side of the city. The 
wind drove the fire speedily away from this street up into the higher region of 
York street, and thus the commercial houses and the wharves and shipping for- 
tunately escaped. 

The flames quickly enveloping the small wooden buildings on Commer- 
cial street, and the brick building occupied as a spice factory by E. J. Hill & 
Co., next attacked the Portland Sugar, an brick structure, 
which seemed capable of withstanding the most fiery assaults. But a tongue of 
flame shot up from the spire of the building, and the interior was soon in ablaze. 
The burning sugar sent out a volume of black smoke, which streamed over the 
city like the black banner of some advancing horde of pitiless vandals. Those 
who saw this black flag of the fire — people far away— did not dream of the evil 
it presaged. 



Office, 506 Walnut Street, 

Shop, 2435-2437 Hope Street, 

Telephone Connection. Members Master Builders' Exchange, 


1841. Established 1841. 1892. 


The Outcome of Fifty Years' Experience, Expenditure and Enterprise. 


R. G. DUN & CO., Proprietors. 

Reference Books are published in January, March, July and September, containing the 
names of more than one million, two hundred thousand traders in the United States and 
Dominion of Canada. Opposite each name are figures indicating the estimated capital of 
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The Reference Book is thoroughly equipped with a reliable map of each State. In the 
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given a list of banks and private bankers, and a summary of Collection and Assignment 
Laws of all States and other useful information. 


E. S. SCRANTON, District Manager, 

Ninth and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, Pa. 









Since the introduction of steam fire engines we had become accustomed 
to see ordinary fires so speedily extinguished that the alarm of fire scarce gave 
us any uneasiness. It was only when the leaping flames showed themselves 
high up above the intervening ridge of the city that those dwelling on its oppo- 
site side felt that the fire was becoming serious. 

The black banner of smoke still waved over the city. Cinders began to 
fly thick and fast in the direction of the wind; two dwelling houses on North 
street — on the summit of Mount Joy — over a mile away from the fire, were in 
this way destroyed. Those who went hurrying into the city from the West- 
brook side saw a fire raging at each extremity of the city. Staples & Son's 
iron foundry, next to the sugar house, was soon on fire, and together withN. P. 
Richardson's stov^e foundry, adjoining, was leveled to the ground. The fire, 
now sweeping up into York street and "Gorham's Corner," a locality covered 
with small wooden buildings, mostly occupied by our Irish population, gathered 
new strength and increasing speed. The wind rose to a gale. In the vicinit}' 
of the flames it roared and howled like a wild beast eager for its prey. It 
spread from the foot of Centre to Cotton street, from Cotton to Cross, from Cross 
to Union, from Union to Plumb, working up higher and higher on each street. 
From the beginning it had taken a direct diagonal course across the cit}', crossing 
street after street in an oblique line, and spreading on each side as it went. After it 
reached Plumb street, it struck the rear of the brick blocks on the south side of 
Middle street. Some hoped that these more substantial buildings would check 
the progress of the flames. But, driven fiercel}- onward by the wind, they had 
now acquired a fury and a force which nothing could withstand. Breaking into 
the rear of these stores, they were soon enveloped in flames. Day's stock of 
fireworks went otF with a loud report and brilliant display. 

The fire had now reached the business centre of the city, and the scene 
became fearful. The whole heavens were illuminated by a lurid glare of light. 
The streets were filled with hundreds of homeless people seeking shelter for their 
little ones, and protection for their property. Merchants were packing up their 
goods, and loaded teams were hurrying in every direction. Heaps of furniture 
filled the sidewalks, and distracted women ran about seeking aid in the removal 
of their household goods. Many men worked like heroes without pay; others 
took the advantage of the general distress to charge exorbitant prices for the 
use of their teams. 

When the lofty stores on the northerly side of Middle street caught fire, 
all hope of staying the progress of the flames was lost. Fox Block, an immense 
pile of brick, situated on the corner of Exchange and Middle streets in which 
our oSice and most of the other newspaper offices of the city were located, soon 
became involved in the general ruin, and sent up to the heavens an immense 
body of flames. The Custom House building, in which are also located the 
Postofliice and United States Court Rooms, being built wholly of stone and iron, 
partly withstood the assault of the flames, although the exposed side, Exchange 
street, was badly scaled by the fire, and the flames crept into the upper part of 
the building, occupied as a court room, and the interior was badly damaged. 
The Postoffice was not so much injured, and the mails were regularly made up 
there on Thursday. The dome of the City Hall now caught, and soon this 



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magnificent building was but a melancholy ruin. Only its walls remained. It 
being considered safe, was filled with furniture and valuable articles, most of 
which were destroyed. 

The fire had now increased in fury, and the efforts of the firemen were 
powerless against it. It swept up and utterly consumed everything combustible 
leaving no bit of burning timber or brand, and not even a vestige of smoke. The 
heat was so intense that the remaining brick walls, instead of being blackened 
by smoke were burned into brilliant colors. Marble melted into particles as fine 
as lime. The solid granite of the Postofiice cracked and scaled oft" in masses. 
The iron shutters on the buildings hitherto considered fire-proof, curled up like 
forest leaves in the heat of a furnace. The heav}' iron rails of the horse rail 
road, imbedded in the pavement in the middle of the street, swelled and bent 
up more than a foot from the ground. In no street or alley was there anything 
left but brick and mortar, stone and iron. Everything was licked up by the 

The fire had now destroyed the business centre of the city, consuming 
Middle street from the junction of Free to Exchange street, and running up 
Exchange street to the City Hall, at the head of that street. The best and the 
most substantial portion of the city had been destroyed. All obstacles to the 
progress of the flames, in the way of buildings supposed to be fire-proof had 
been swept away. They looked down upon an easy prey. All the district 
below Exchange street, extending to India street, and up Mount Joy, reaching 
across from Fore to Oxford street, a space of perhaps half a mile square, was 
covered with wooden dwelling houses, standing on narrow streets and lanes — 
the very food for the now triumphant flames. Across this district the fire swept 
with incredible rapidity. Where it before assaulted single buildings, it now 
attacked entire streets, striking whole rows of buildings with the force of an 
avalanche. A ver}' tempest of cinders filled the air, setting fire to every 
top. In vain, men battled with it on their roofs. Extinguished at one point, it 
burst out at a dozen others, driving the despairing citizens from their housetops 
to look, too late, after the safety of their household goods. Quantities of these, 
were removed to places of supposed safety, were again reached and destroyed 
by the flames. 

The scenes amid this crowded population, thus hotly assaulted by fire, 
irresistibly marching on, were agonizing to look upon. The sick were carried 
from their burning homes on their beds. Distracted men, women and children 
ran hither and thither shouting and imploring help. 

The street were filled with costly furniture. Teams loaded with goods, 
women trundling wheel-barrows filled with their little all, men carrying furni- 
ture on their backs, theives hurrying awav with their plunder, children were 
separated from their parents, parents bewailing the loss of their children; and, 
above all, the ever advancing flames sending their fiery missiles overhead made 
up a scene never to be forgotten. Fire filled the air, and ruled triumphant over 
the prostrate city. It was three o'clock in the morning, and still the fire swept 
on. A broad sheet of flame extended over a region nearly a mile long by half 
SI mile wide. 

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The affrighted people who looked down upon the scene from the elevated 
land in the neighboring town of Westbrook, saw a sea of fire surging over the 
submerged city, sending up tongues of flame from a thousand points, while 
burning masses flew through the air. It was a sight such as few have ever 
looked upon, and none would desire to see again. With the dawn of morning, 
the flames reached the open spaces about Mount Joy, where they died out for 
want of further material to pre}' upon. One-third of the city had been consumed 
in a single night. A space of over a mile in length, beginning with the width 
of a single building, and terminating with a sweep of half a mile, had been swept 
clear of everything combustible. Beautiful gardens w^ere laid waste, and elegant 
homes became a scene of desolation. The whole area was honeycombed with 
cellars partially filled with fallen bricks, while above them rose the naked 
chimneys, a forest of brick in place of the once beautiful shade trees, whose 
blackened trunks only remained. From the first the fire was beyond the control 
of the firemen. 

The utmost endeavors of the firemen of the city, aided by those from 
other cities and towns, were of little avail until the plan of blowing up had been 
carried out, and then ^nly to prevent the fire from spreading, and cause it for 
want of fuel to burn out. 

As the flames approached the thickly settled portions of the city, between 
Exchange and India streets, the housetops were covered with men endeavoring 
to extinguish the cinders, while women worked nobly in removing goods; many 
could not believe that their houses must go, and delaj^ed the removal of their 
goods until too late. 

Then came the blowing up of buildings, the falling of church steeples, 
the roar of the great bod}^ of flames sent up by such immense buildings as 
Wood's Hotel and the Cit}^ Hall. The march of the fire was now accelerated. 
Widening in its track, it swept onward with redoubled speed. Gathering new 
engergy with its progress, it now swooped down upon whole streets where 
it had before attacked onlj' single houses. It leaped from avenue to avenue. 
It made haste to accomplish its work. The whole lower part of the city, 
composed chiefl)' of wooden buildings, was swept away in an incredibly short 
space of time, leaving onl}^ a waste of chimneys and scorched and blackened 
shade trees behind. 

One of the citizens saved his shop from the flames by the use of beef 
pickle. Having used up all the water at hand in extinguishing the cinders, he 
bethought him of the barrels of brine on his premises, and dashing it on by the 
pailsful, kept the flames under. He had got reduced, however, to two buckets 
of vinegar before the building was safe, and the brick wall on which the salt 
became encrusted was in a pretty pickle. 

In view of the appalling march of the flames, it was difficult for the 
coolest to possess entire presence of mind; many persons can now think of the 
numerous small but valuable articles which the might easily have saved. A 
person left his office for the last time with a handful of envelopes when an article 
worth thirty dollars lay at hand which he might easily have taken instead. One 
lady went about the streets with a new tin pail in her hand, leaving her silver- 
ware in her burning home. 

E:sta.l>lishecl 180S. 







Bee i Hive i Carpet i Store 



Fine Carpetings, Mattings, Rugs and Mats, 


As the night wore away, and the fire died out for want of further materials 
the exhausted people lay down in the streets to sleep, some beneath tottering 
walls, some in coffins saved from the fire, and others on the remains of their 
household furniture. The sun rose on a scene of desolation seldom paralleled 
even in the annals of war. A city, which but twelve hours before was one of 
the most beautiful and prosperous in the land, had in great part been reduced 
to a heap of ashes and its houseless population were lying about worn out and 
exhausted amid the ruins. 

Says the Portland Press : 

"If a sermon upon the instability of human affairs were the one thing 
desirable now, it would be easy to dwell in pathetic periods upon the sudden 
dissolution of solid piles of bricks and stones which two days ago were homes, 
shops, and the haunts of men, but have now vanished like a dream. The Post 
Office is solitary in the midst of a forest of unhoused chimneys, and a labyrinth 
of heated and crumbling walls; its granite is blistered and shivered by the 
intense flame which swept over it night before last. The dome of the City Hall 
and the spires of our churches have passed away like evening clouds. Where 
was once Exchange street is now only a heap of ruins. A third of the territorial 
surface of the city lies desolate. A large part of the accumulated, wealth, the 
savings of this and former industrious generations, has been destroyed. Half of 
our population has been turned into the street without warning — there is the 
fact, black and terrible, without palliation or disguise; but if brick and stone 
are perishable, and may blow away as lightly as a gossamer, there is yet some- 
thing solid and enduring in the world — the patience and enterprise which built 
up our beautiful city. In this disaster, never have the sterling qualities of our 
people shown forth more nobly than now. 

"It is hard to see the fruits of so many years of patient endeavor wasted 
in a few hours, but the indomitable courage which faces the fact admits the 
misfortune in all its magnitude and sets promptly to work to repair. It is 
admirable beyond praise." 

"The calamity," writes Hon. P. W. Chandler, "was really appalling. 
Going to the point where the fire commenced, I walked over its whole course, 
from the great sugar house, near the Boston railroad station to Mount Joy Hill. 
It is a wide scene of desolation, dreary, sickening, awful. I have not seen or 
imagined anything like it since I traversed the streets of Pompeii a dozen years 
ago. At the first glance the whole city seemed to be destroyed. There is 
literally a forest of chimneys, and over the whole region almost the silence of 
the grave. The are still many splendid residences left, especially in the 
vicinity of High street, and there are some large stores on the water side of the 
town. But in fact, substantially the whole of the business part of the place is 
destroyed. Foot, Congress, Exchange and Middle streets — recently so full of 
business life and animation — all are gone. The banks and insurance offices, the 
dry goods stores, the offices of the newspapers, lawyers and express companies, 
telegraph and brokers, are swept away. As you pass north of Exchange, and 
up India street, all the fine old houses, with beautiful gardens, are in ruins; and 
it is enough to give one the heartache to see those rows of noble elms dried, 




317, 319 and 321 N. Seventh Street, 


j^^^La Flor Especial Cigar Factory. 

;§¥•, Willi 1 it. 



1332 Chestnut Street, 




charred, and utterly destroyed, although still standing and stretching out their 
branches in mute testimony of this appalling disaster." 

One half of the city and the one which included its business portion, 
was destroyed; every bank and all the newspaper and lawyers' offices had been 
swept away; the splendid city and county buildings on Congress street, 
considered fire-proof, and filled with furniture from the neighboring houses, 

The flames swept over more than two hundred acres, and destroyed nearly 
one thousand five hundred buildings, including, besides those already enumer- 
ated, all the jewelry establishments, the wholesale dry goods houses, several 
churches, the telegraph offices, and a majority of the other business places. 
Nearly ten thousand people were rendered houseless. 

The entire loss was estimated at ^10,000,000, only partially covered by 



o o o o o o 


o o o o o o 







A White China Cup and Saucer given with every quarter-pound. 

A White China Cup, Saucer and Plate, Moss Rose or Gold Band 
Decoration, given with every pound. 

Tens of thousands of the above goods have been given to pur- 
chasers of "Middleton's Silver Tea," and still they are going. 

Sor ^aie 6^ ^QdQ SJrocerx*). 


p7^3^HE city of San Francisco was retarded in its progress toward its present 
jJ-'cJ>R proud position by many causes, but by nothing more than fire. The 
^z2^^ most destructive of the many conflagrations which have occurred in 
that city began on May 3d, 185 1, at eleven o'clock at night, and was not over- 
mastered the 5th, the loss that was caused by it amounted to $3,500,000, and it 
destroyed 2,500 buildings. The fire began in a paint shop on the west side of 
Portsmouth square, adjoining the American House. Although but a slight 
blaze when discovered the building was, within five minutes wrapped in flames, 
and before the arrival of the fire engines the American House had caught and 
was burning brightly, the buildings being all of wood, and extremely combus- 
tible, the fire spread up Clay street, back to Sacramento, and down Clay street 
towards Kearney, with fearful Rapidity. Soon the fire department was compelled 
to give up every attempt to extinguish it, and to confine their work to making 
its advances less rapid. Pursuing this plan they checked the flames on the 
north side, at Dupont street. But in every other direction it took its own way, 
and was only arrested at the waters edge, and ruins of the houses that had been 
blown up. The shipping in the harbor was only protected by the breaking up 
of the wharves. Thousands of persons were made homeless, and for a 
long time after lived in tents. The Custom House, seven hotels, Postoffice, 
offices of the Steamship Company, the banking house of Page, Bacon & Co., 
were destroyed. During the continuance of a fire a number of persons were 
burned, and others died from their exertions toward subduing it. Another large 
fire devastated a great portion of San Francisco in June 1851. It occurred on 
the 2 2d of that month, and 500 buildings were destroyed by it. The loss was 
estimated at $3,000,000. 


A. C. Rishel, 1123 Chestnut St., Phila. 


wool. Fr.EEOE KNIT. 


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Ninth and Bnttonwoocl Sis. 

The following account was given by Mr J. B. Harrison, who, at the time of the great 
New York fire, was a member of the Franklin Fire Company of Philadelphia. Mr. Harrison 
narrates the noble efforts made by the Philadelphia boys in going to the rescue : 



N Friday, the 8th of December, 1835. the Mayor of New York sent 
'(^G^) for the firemen of Philadelphia to come and help put out a large fire 
that was then burning. As quick as the boys of the Ben Franklin 
heard it we assembled together, twenty-three of us manned the rope and started 
for the Walnut street wharf, to get on the boat to cross to Camden and take the 
railroad. The river was so full of heavy floating ice the boat could not cross. 
There were other firemen there, who, when they found they could not cross the 
river, returned home. We concluded to go to the Kensington road and get on 
there. When we got to the road we found the ice so thick on the rails that the 
cars could not run, for it was raining and freezing as it fell. We then concluded 
to go afoot. It was then four o'clock. The word was given, "Man the rope, 
boys, we will go to Trenton bridge and cross the Delaware." 

We got to Trenton at twelve o'clock that night, and went to the tavern. 
When we entered the room we found a large stove red hot. The ice was about 
an inch thick on our coats and hats. In a short time the ice melted and the 
floor was covered with water. After we warmed a little, we got up on the seats 
the best we could to get out of the water and to rest. It was not long, however, 
till we got cold, and concluded that we had better start on our journey. The 
word was given, and away we went for the Sand Hills. It was then Saturday 
morning about four o'clock, and some of the boys were getting weak. On the 
way we hired a man with a horse to help us along to the Sand Hills. 

About five miles from the Sand Htlls there was a large house, and some 
of our boys proposed to stop and get some supper, it being nearly night. We 
halted and asked them for supper. They would not let us have any, although 
we offered to pay them well for it. We were forty miles from home and had 
not stopped to eat a meal. Some of the boys had given out, and some said they 
could not go much further. While we were talking to the man of the house, 
one of our boys stepped to the back of the house to get a drink of water, and 
seeing through a window a large table loaded with everything good to eat that 

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endeavor to best serve our interests by first serving yours well. Orders solicited 
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Edward G. Wentzel. Wm. H. Clawbll. 


Successors (d .Juiin W'entzel 

22 12 Cermantown Ave. and 2213 IVIarshali St. 

Particular attention paid to Interfering Horses, Quarter Cracks, Split Hoofs, <&c. 

Engineers and Machinists— Manufactnrers of Special Machinery, Tools, Cutting ^-^ Stamping Dies 

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a man could wish for, was more than our hungry boys could resist, and so we 
filed in at one door as a large company of guests entered at another. We sat 
down and ate a hearty supper. The other crowd had to take a stand against 
the wall until we got through. No one helped us, but we helped ourselves— as 
it was all before us. When we got through we were polite enough to thank 
them for supper and then rolled on to the Sand Hills. 

When we arrived at the Sand Hills that night only six of us were left, 
and the man and horse we had hired. We went to the tavern and got a good 
night's rest. The next morning was Sunday. The railroad company had men 
all along the road breaking ice off the rails. By Sunday night our boys all came 
up; some on foot, while others had hired men along the road to fetch them to us. 
We met a perfect gentlemen there, either a New Yorker or Philadelphian, who 
said to us, "Boys, if you want any money to pay your bill here, I have it, and 
you are welcome to all you want." 

Monday morning came. The ice was all broken off the rails. A locomo- 
tive came along with two little flats which were too short for our engine, and 
we had to couple them together and put our front wheels on one and our hind 
wheels on the other. They took us to Amboy where we got on a steamboat 
which landed us at New York. 

We were escorted to a house close to the Park, where we put our engine. 
The Mayor of the city took us to a hotel near Park, and he told the proprietor 
to take care of us and charge it to to him. 

This was Monday. A note came to us to come over to the Astor House; 
some gentleman wanted to have a talk with us. After supper we started, and 
went through the Park to the Astor We were taken to a room on the 
second floor, where we were introduced to about fifteen gentlemen — the Mayor 
of New York, Jacob Astor, and others— and a table filled with all kinds of 
refreshments. They wanted to know how we managed to get there. We stayed 
until bedtime and then went back to our hotel. I don't recollect the name of 
the hotel, but we went through the Park to get there. 

The next day, Tuesday, Fire Company No. i came tovisitus, and offering 
their services as our escorts, we went to see the ruins of the fire, which had 
been checked by blowing up buildings in advance of it with powder. While we 
were there we got an invitation to go to a theatre, which we accepted, taking 
Company No. i with us. When we got to the theatre we told them No. i was 
our escort, and we wanted them to go in with us. They refused, and we told 
them we would go back to our hotel and spend the evening. We had not gone 
far until we were halted by a messenger from another theatre, "Franklin boys, 
come with me, I will take you to a theatre where you can go in and take whom 
you wish." 

On Wednesday, I thought I would go and see an uncle in the upper part 
of the city. Walking along on the sidewalk, I was stopped by a cabman, who 
asked, "Fireman, where are you going?" I told him. He .said that it was too 
far for me to walk, and he took me in his cab. We could not step out any- 
where but we were halted by some one wanting to do a kind act for us. We 
could not spend any money in New York. I bought a few things and laid down 


Washington Avenue and Fifth St. 


r^-^- • S-Oiief 


^^l;5fe -^^'-^-^^^S^ 

IlimS, iiCHiSTS Ai iil lAIEHS 


Porter-Allen Automatic Steam Engine, 

Heavy Castings. 


JAS. C. BROOKS, President. WM. E. GOOD, Sup't. 

GEO. A. BOSTWICK, Treasurer. 


P-l SJ 

S ^ 





the money to pay for them, which was refused. The merchant said, "You are 
welcome to anything you want; your money I will not take." 

When we got ready to go home, the New York firemen pulled our engine 
to the wharf. The Mayor appointed a committee to escort us home, and after 
that the firemen got to visiting from one city to another. 


_UEBEC suffered terribly from fire during the 3^ear 1845. On Ma)' 28th 
a fire broke out in the Faubourgh St. Roch, which destroyed 1,500 
buildings before it could be quelled. Exactly one month later 1,300 

were burned, and by these two conflagrations nearly two-thirds of the city was 

laid in ruins. The pecuniary loss has been stated at 


MIIvIv .-. WORK. 


Oiiice and Milt, 2003-07 American Street, 

Second and Norris Streets, 





Sawed and Block Stone of all Kinds, 

Ninth Street and Columbia Ave., 



Lumber Yard, 

Mill Work and Bill Timber, 
(HOWARD AND BERKS STS., Nineteenth Ward,) 



^^cA-'jfl MEMORABLE fire occurred at Rome, in the reign of the Emperor 
/yJ^LH Nero, in the month of July, A. D., 64, which destroyed neaarly five- 
ilxi^ScLy sevenths of the city, and included within its ruins the most stately 
temples and public buildings of the "Empress of the World," and her rarest and 
most valuable collections of literature, science and art. Popular tradition makes 
the bloody tyrant Nero, the author of this dreadful conflagration. It is said 
he stood upon a high tower during the continuance of the conflagration enjoying 
the sight, and singing in a theatrical manner to his harp, verses upon the burning 
of Troy. Following will be found a description of the burning of Rome as given 
by Tacitus, the historion. 

A dreadful calamity followed in a short time after, by some ascribed to 
chance and by others to the execrable wickedness of Nero. The authority of 
historians is on both sides, and which predominates it is not easy to determine. 
It is however certain, that of all the disasters that ever befell the city of Rome 
from the rage of fire, this was the worst, the most violent and destructive. The 
flames broke out in that part of the Circus which adjoins on one side to Mount 
Palatine, and on the other to Mount Cselius. 

It caught a number of shops stocked with combustible goods, and 
gathering force from the wind, spread with rapidity from one end of the Circus 
to the other. Neither the thick walls of houses, nor the inclosure of temples, 
nor any other buildings could check the rapid progress of the flames. A dread- 
ful conflagration followed. The level parts of the city were destro3-ed. The 
fire communicated to the higher buildings, and again laying hold of interior 
places, spread with a degree of velocity that nothing could resist. The form 
of the streets, long and narrow, with frequent windings and no regular opening 
according to the plan of ancient Rome, contributed to increase the mischief. 
The shrieks and lamentations of women, the infirmities of age, and the weakness 
of the young and tender, added misery to the dreadful scene. Some endeavored 
to provide for themselves, others to save their friends, in one part dragging 
along the lame and impotent, in another waiting to receive the tardj^ or 
expecting relief themselves; they lingered, they obstructed one another, they 
looked behind and the fire broke out in front, they escaped from the flames 
and in their place of refuge found no safet}'; the fire raged in every quarter, all 
were involved in one general conflagration. 

The unhappy wretches fled to places remote and thought themselves 
secure, but soon perceived the flames raging round them. Which way to turn, 

W. ROMMEin, 




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what to avoid, or what to seek no one could tell, they crowded the streets; the}^ 
fell prostrate on the ground, they lay stretched in the field in consternation and 
dismay, resigned to their fate. 

Numbers lost their whole substance— even the tools and implements by 
which they gained their livelihood, and in that distress did not wish to survive. 
Others wild with affliction for their friends and relations, whom they could not 
save, embraced a voluntary death and perished in the flames. During the whole 
of this dismal scene no man dared to attempt anything that might check the 
violence of the dreadful calamity. A crew of incendiaries stood near at hand 
denouncing vengeance on all who offered to interfere. Some were so abandoned 
as to heap fuel on the flames. They threw in fire brands and flaming torches 
proclaiming aloud that they had authority lor what they did. Whether in fact, 
they had received such horrible orders, or under that device, meant to plunder 
with great licentiousness cannot now be known. 

Green ^ Mount ^ Cemetery. 

Second Street or Rising Sun Lane and Bristol Street, 

Take 6th & 6th Street Cars, or Newtown R. R. Third and Berks St. Depot. 


1 ^^ -^m 

I Vf 

Grounds are large, comprising one 
hundred acres. Land is rolling and pic- 
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Access by Railroad and Carriage is 

Officers— President, T. Ross Hanson ; Treasurer, Chas. B. Howell ; 
Secretary, Jas. L. Mcllhenney ; Superintendent, Edwin P. Frick. 

OfSce, IS 21 j^xolCL Street. 

I^^Hours from 9 A. M. to 4 P. M., Sundays excepted. 











>jpA^ONSTANTINOPLE suflfered so terribly from fire during the last century 
lJT^J that the following list to the commencement of the present century is 
G^J^^ worth recording : 

In 1729, a great conflagration destroyed about 12,000 houses and 7,000 of 
the inhabitants. In 1749-50 another destroyed 12,000 houses, and at the end of 
the latter year nearly 10,000 more. In 1751, 4,000 houses were burnt. In 1756, 
500 houses were burnt, and in July of the same year, 15,000 houses and 100 of 
the inhabitants were destroyed. During the years i76i-'5-'7-'9 and 1771 , great 
havoc was made by fire. In the 3^ear 1778, there were 2,000 houses burnt. In 
February 1782, 600 houses were destroyed. In June of the same year, 7,000 
more, and in August following no less than 10,000 houses, 50 mosques and 100 
corn mills, etc., were destroyed. In 1784, 10,000 houses were burnt. Between 
March and July 1791, it is said that 32,000 houses were burnt. In 1792, 7,000 
houses were burnt, and a similar number again in 1795. In the 5'ear 1799, the 
suburbs of Bera had 1,800 houses and many magnificent buildings totally 
destroyed. In 1865, another terrific conflagration broke out at Constantinople, 
by which 2,800 houses, public buildings and places dedicated to public worship 
were destroyed. Over 22,000 people were left homeless, and the loss of life 
could not be ascertained. The fire originated in a small two story building, and 
thence spread in all directions, whole streets, squares, mosques and government 
buildings being all blazing away at the same time. The loss of life and property 






Fill IMilE 









1 \^m(m 

lawfflLL gi/as 


No. 320 North 24th Street, 


I'iilL.A.IDJEI-.I'PilA^, P>A. 

Residence, 2143 Callowhill Street. 


^APOLEON, the great conqueror, had reached Moscow after a series of 
bloody battles, and was preparing to winter his vast army in that 
magnificent capital, when his dreams of future conquest was dispelled 
by an unexpected and terrible catastrophe on the night of the 14th, says Allison; 
a fire broke out in the Bourse behind the Bazaar, which soon consumed that 
noble edifice, and spread to a considerable part of the crowded streets in the 
vicinity. This, however, was but the prelude to more extended calamities. At 
midnight on the 15 th a bright light was seen to illuminate the northern and the 
western parts of the city, and the sentinels on w^atch at the Kremlin soon dis- 
covered the splendid edifices in that quarter to be in flames. This changed 
repeatedly during the night, but to whatever quarter it veered the conflagration 
extended itself. 

Fresh fires were every instant seen breaking out in all directions, and 
MosGDw soon exhibited the spectacle of a sea of flame agitated by the wind. The 
soldiers, drowned in sleep or overcome by intoxication, were incapable of 
arresting its progress, and the burning fragments that floated through the hot 
air began to fall on the roofs and courts of the Kremlin. The fury of an autumnal 
tempest added to the horror of the scene; it seemed as if the wrath of heaven 
had combined with the vengeance of man to consume the invaders of the city 
they had conquered. But it was chiefly during the nights of the i8th and 19th, 
that the conflagration attained its greatest violence. At that time the whole 
city was wrapped in flames and volumes of fire of various colors ascended to the 
heavens in many places, diffusing a prodigious light on all sides and attended 
by a horrible heat. These balloons of flame were accompanied in their ascent 
by a frightful hissing noise and loud explosions, the effect of the vast stores of 
oils, resin, tar, spirits and other combustible materials with which the greater 
part of the shops were filled. Large pieces of painted canvas unrolled from the 
outside of the buildings by the violence of the heat, floated on fire in the atmos- 
phere and sent down on all sides a flaming shower which spread the conflagra- 
tion in quarters the most remote from which it originated. The wind, naturally 
high, was raised by the sudden rarefaction of the air produced by the heat, to 
a perfect hurricane. The howling of the tempest drowned even the roar of the 
conflagration, the whole heavens were filled with the whirl of the volumes of 
smoke and flame which arose on all sides and made midnight as bright as day. 
While even the hardest hearts, subdued by the sublimity of the scene, and the 
feeling of human impotence in the midst of such elemental strife, sank and 



states. $^.00 and $^.§0 ^ef- daij. 

* — I. -r -/-T — c-'^ — «- -cK- e--v — 

One and a-katf J^Lackl^ pain J^f-aad ^A ^iaiian. 


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improvement, or the 

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With absolutely dry filling. 

Having the tongue and groove 

Having a continuous and pro- 
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In which the door and frame are 
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In which the door joints will 
not and cannot open or spread 
by the action of heat. 

The back of which cannot be 
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of Marvin's tongue and groove 
solid forged frame, with sliding back plate. Call and examine. 

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trembled in silence. The return of day did not diminish the terrors of the con- 
flagration. An immense crowd of hitherto unseen people, who had taken refuge 
in the cellars and vaults of their buildings, issued forth as the flames reached 
the dwelling; the streets were speedily filled with multitudes flying in every 
direction with their most precious articles; while the French army whose 
discipline this fatal event had entirely dissolved, assembled in drunken crowds, 
and loaded themselves with the spoils of the city. 

Nev^er in modern times had such scenes been witnessed ; the men were 
loaded with packages, charged with their most precious effects, which often 
took fire as they were carried along and which they were obliged to throw 
down to save themselves. The women had often two or three children on their 
backs and as many led by the hand, which, with trembling steps and piteous 
cries, sought their devious way through the labyrinth of flame. Many old men 
unable to walk were drawn on hurdles or wheel-barrows by their children and 
grand-children, while their burnt beards and smoking garments showed with 
what difiiculty they had been rescued from the flames. Often the French 
soldiers, tormented by hunger and thirst and loosed from all discipline by the 
horrors which surrounded them, not contented with the booty in the streets, 
rushed headlong into the burning edifices to ransack their cellars for the stores 
of wine and spirits which they contained, and beneath the ruins great numbers 
perished miserably, the victims of intemperance and the surrounding fire. 
Meanwhile the flames fanned by the tempestuous gale, advanced with frightful 
rapidity, devouring alike in their course the palaces of the great, the temples of 
religion and the cottages of the poor. For thirty-six hours the conflagration 
continued at its height and during that time above nine-tenths of the city was 
destroyed ; the remainder, abandoned to pillage and deserted by its inhabitants 
offered no resources to the army. Moscow had been conquered the victors had 
gained only a heap of ruins. It is estimated that 30,800 houses were consumed 
and the total value of property destroyed ^30,000,000. 

The fire at Moscow, Russia, in 151 7, we may safely pronounce, has in 
history, no parallel. The following account includes a description by an eye 
witness. We find that it was preceded (as was the great fire of London,) by a 
plague, which swept away in about four months two hundred and fifty thousand 
people. The plague was followed a year after on the 15th May, by a strange 
ruin and conflagration ; the Emperor of the Tartareans, being discontented that 
Russians did not pay him some annual tribute, and hearing besides, that the 
Grand Duke returned nothing in answer but spiteful and reproachful words ; 
wherefore the Tartarean came out of his country about the end of February, 
followed with an army of about one hundred thousand horse, who, within a 
space of two months and a half, rode about five hundred German leagues, which 
made two thousand English miles. When within about two days journey of the 
frontiers of the Duke, he resolved to meet them, and give them battle, but he 
lost it, with a prodigious slaughter of his men. The Duke, knowing that the 
Tartarean would seek him out, hastened away as fast and far as he could. He 
was only within five leagues of Moscow when the Tartareans came and encom- 
passed the town ; thinking he was within, they set fire to all the villages about 
it, and seeing that the war would prove too tedious for them, they resolved to 





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Safety Fund $1,200,000. 

Cash Capital $1,000,000. 

Suri)Ius to Policyholders $2,602,620.05 

Total Assets $6,000,000. 

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Jerseys & Jersey Flannel, Shirts & Hosiery, 




burn that great citj^ or at least the suburbs of it. For this purpose, having 
placed their troops round about it, they set fire on all sides, so that it seemed a 
burning globe. Then did arise so fierce and violent a wind that it drove rafters 
and long trees from the suburbs into the cit3^ The conflagration was so sudden 
that nobody had time to save himself, but in that place where he then was. 
The persons that were burnt in this fire were about two hundred thousand, 
which happened because the houses were all wood, and the streets paved with 
fir trees, set close together, which being oily and resinous, made the fire inex- 
pressible ; so that in four hours the city and suburbs were wholly consumed. 

The poor country people that had saved themselves in the city, with 
their cattle, from three score miles round about, seeing the conflagration, all ran 
into the market place, which was not paved with wood as the rest ; nevertheless, 
they were all roasted there, in such a manner that the tallest man seemed but 
a child, so much had the fire contracted their limbs ; and this happened by 
reason of the great houses round about — a thing more hideous and frightful than 
can be imagined. In many place of the market the bodies were piled one upon 
the other to the height of a half a pike ; which put me into a wonderful admira- 
tion, not being able to apprehend nor understand how it was possible they 
should be so heaped. 




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Factory, 3528 to 2538 American Street, 

Office, 2527 to 2537 Bodine Street, 

Residence, 2220 X. Second Street. 

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A specialty of fine Portraits and Artistic Photographs. 

Our best Cabinets $3.00 per dozen. Also fine life si/.e portraits from $5 up. 
As to quality of work we refer you to the Chief Engineer Philadelphia Fire 
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ifOt^HESE twin sisters, whose dread mission seems to be that of teaching 
f Hk man his own frailty, and the instability of earthly possessions; walk 
iS^^ over the fairest regions inhabited by man, often hand in hand, but 
not seldom the one treads on the heels of the other, as if to see that nothing is 
spared in their coarse. "Sorrows," says the poet, "come not as single spies, 
but in battalions." Thus it happened the goodly city of London was doomed 
in the successive years 1665 and 1666 to be swept first by pestilence and second 
by fire as though it had been selected by the Deity to furnish a signal evidence 
of His power to destroy. 

It seems fitting to give a short sketch of both of these calamities, linked 
together as they always are in the history of that famous city. 

The Plague ! Terrible word ! "What was it ? It took its name from 
its being one of the most formidable diseases that has ever afflicted man- 
kind. Though at present generally confined to Eastern countries and now 
mitigated by scientific treatment and the sanitary regulations of modern civiliza- 
tion, it is still an object of painful interest, particularly to seafaring men and 
commercial nations. 

A contagious disease, very severe generally, and rapid in its progress, it 
is, or was, fatal too about two-thirds of those who are attacked by it. The first 
symptom is a headache in the forehead or in the hinder part of the head. The 
patient is thrown into violent tremors and feels within his body a furious heat. 
The eyes become red and ferocious; the pain, accompanied with a sensation of 
numbness spreads along the spine to the joints and limbs. The tongue is dry 
and yellowish, there is a frightful naseau and the wretched victim tries to vomit 
but in vain. Dizziness and delirium follow. The patient raves wildly, and the 
laboring breath comes heavily from the congested lungs. 

Meanwhile, a dreadful feature of the foul disease makes itself seen. 
Great carbuncles and ulcers appear in the groin and arm-pits, which break and 
discharge a yellow or black .fluid of fetid odor. This fluid seems to eat away 
the neighboring skin and even the muscle itself. At the expiration of from three 
to seven days^ death comes to relieve the suff'erer or the di.sease reaches its 
climax and he slowly recovers. 

Such is the brief description of the plague which for many hundred years 
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like some stealthy beast of prey prowling in the night, it spread through St. 
Giles, St. Andrews, St. Brides and St. James parishes. Sometimes it seemed 
to hide itself for a few days, only to reappear with new force. 

The attention of the authorities having been called to some of the early 
cases it was publicly announced that the plague had appeared in certain par- 
ishes. The alarm spread here in.stantly and an exodus took place from all parts 
of the city, but principally at the west end of the town among the nobility and 
gentr)', who, with their families and servants, thronged out of town. The 
streets were jammed with wagons and carts, with goods, women, servants and 
children, coaches filled with members of the aristocracy, and horsemen attend- 
ing them, all hurrying away; then empty wagons and carts were seen returning, 
and spare horses with servants, who came back from the country to fetch more 
people, beside troops of men on horseback, loaded with baggage and riding as 
those who ride for their lives. 

The Lord Mavor's door was beset from morning till night with an impor- 
tunate crowd seeking for passes and certificates of health, for without these 
there was no traveling or securing of lodgings at the inns in the country. 

This press continued all the months of May and June and was increased 
by rumors that the Government intended to interdict any persons from leaving 
the infected city. 

Early in the summer the weather set in hot, and the infection commenced 
to spread with frightful rapidity. All that could conceal their distempers did it 
to prevent their neighbors from shunning and refusing to converse with them, 
and also to prevent the authorities from shutting up their homes. This fact 
doubled the terrors of the plague, for no one could know with whom to converse 
or even to meet with safety. 

The infection at first kept chiefly in the out parishes, which were not 
only more populous but less cleanly. Here thousands upon thousands of poorer 
people crowded together in close and filthy tenements. Upon such food the 
destroyer rioted for weeks. By the middle of July the plague had spread in the 
better portions of the city, and in the second week of August eight hundred and 
fifty died of it in Cripplegate alone. 

A fresh panic now seized the inhabitants, and in August it seemed as if 
the city would be abandoned by all but magistrates and servants. The face of 
London was now strangely altered. Sorrow seemed to brood over all. The 
city seemed to be all in tears. One thousand houses had by the first of August 
been computed to have been abandoned, and two hundred thousand people to 
have left the city. 

Many merchants, owners of ships, etc., shut themselves up on board their 
vessels, being supplied with provisions from Greenwich, Woolwich, and single 
farm houses on the Kentish side. Here, however, they were safe; for the 
infection never reached below Deptford, though the people went frequently on 
shore to the country towns, villages and farm houses to buy fresh provisions. 
As the violence of the plague increased, the ships which had families on board 
removed farther oflf ; some went quite out to sea, and then put into such harbors 
and roads as they could best reach. 


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The streets usually so thronged were now almost deserted, and grass, 
which stray cattle devoured, grew in the thoroughfares. One could walk from 
one end to the other of the by-streets and see neither man, moman, nor child, 
except the watchman who had been set at the door of such houses as had been 
abandoned by their tenants or closed by order of the magistrates. 

"It was really a wonder," says Defoe, "that the whole body of the 
people did not rise as one man and abandon their dwellings, leaving the place 
as a space of ground designed by heaven for an Akeldama, doomed to be 
destroyed from the face of the earth, and that all that would be found in it would 

perish with it." 

Notwithstanding so many people had fled from the city a vast number 
still remained either from necessity or from choice, especially as they had grown 
wonted to the plague from the length of time it took to become general. 

It must not be forgotten that the city and suburbs were prodigiously filled 
with people at the time when the visitation of the plague began. The wars of 
the period being over, the armies disbanded, and the royal family and the 
monarchy being restored, thousands had flocked to London to settle in business 
or to depend upon and attend the court for rewards of services and preferments, 
the town was computed to have a hundred thousand more inhabitants than it 

had ever had before. 

Superstition also came in to heighten the fears of the people. Just before 
the pestilence, a comet was said to have appeared, of a faint, dull, languid color 
and "its motion very heavy, solemn and slow, which, according to some, fore- 
told a heavy judgment, slow but severe and terrible, as was the plague." The 
apprehensions of the people were likewise strongly increased by the errors 
of the times, when men, for some reason, were strongly addicted to "prophecies 
and astrological conjurations, dreams and old wives' tales, than ever they were 
before or since." The town was crowded with astrologers and wizards, who 
pandered to the prevailing apprehensions, and made money out of the fears of 

the people. 

The households in which the plague appeared were of course immediately 

avoided by every one; and the families which were infected, on the other hand, 

endeavored by every means to conceal the fact. 

The burials in St. Giles in one week in the month of May were fifty-three 
of which only nine were set down to the plague. It was found on examination 
that twenty more had really died of the plague. 

In the height of the pestilence, quacks and charlatans dared still to ply 
their trade. "The posts of houses," says a contemporary writer, "were plastered 
over with doctors' bill and papers of ignorant fellows, quacking and pampering 
in physic, and inviting people to come to them for remedies, which was gen- 
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The authorities commenced as early as June to take stringent measures 
to check the spread of the infection. Examiners, searchers, watchmen, keepers, 
and buriers were appointed for places and persons infected. Surgeons were 
directed to search everybody and to keep themselves sequestered from all other 
patients; cordons were drawn around infected houses, and all householders were 
required to give notice within two hours after the first sign of the plague had 
appeared in their families. Burials were ordered to take place between 
sunset and sunrise. Every house infected was marked in the middle of the 
door with a red cross a foot long, and over it the words, "Lord Have Mercy 
Upon Us !" The most stringent precautions were also enforced against the 
removal of infected clothing, and against the accumulation of filth in houses or 

Necessary as it was that houses should be closed, this measure greatly 
increased the sufferings of the people. A da}' watchman and a night watchman 
alternately stood at every door which was padlocked and marked with the 
blood-red cross; and prevented all ingress or egress. Each of these houses 
became at once a prison and a pest-house, the plague stricken, and they who 
were still untouched b}' the pestilence, being side by side in a dreadful com- 
panionship of pain and terror. It is not wonderful that many should elude the 
watchman and fly from their plague dungeons, leaving the sick to die alone. 
Instances were known where the dead-cart; making its nightly rounds, was 
summoned by the watchman to take corpses from such houses as had been 

From one of the houses in Houndsditch, wild and terrible screaming was 
heard in the night, which suddenly ceased, and was succeeded by an awful 
stillness. The bellman, who went with the dead-cart, knocked loudly at the 
door, and shouted, "Bring out your dead," but nobody answered. Soon after, 
the night watchman and the day watchman, for they were both on the spot, it 
being in the morning at the change of watches; procured a long ladder, and 
climbing to the chamber window saw the floor inside strewed with corpses just 
dead. The passionate cries heard were those of the survivors of the famil3% 
who were taking leave of their dying friends and preparing to fly from the 

Sometimes desperate measures were resorted to in order to break from 
this horrible confinement. One of the watchmen was blown up with gunpowder 
by the inmates of the house he guarded; and while he was screaming in pain, 
for he was dreadfully burned, the family escaped from the second story windows 
for no one dared to come near, either to help the watchman or prevent them 
from escaping. 

"In other cases," sa^'S Defoe; "some had gardens and walls, or pales, 
between them and their neighbors, or yards and back-houses, and these, by 
friendships and entreaties, would get leave to get over those walls or pales, and 
so go out at their neighbors' doors, or, by giving money to their servants, get 
them to let them through in the night; so that, in short, the shutting up of 
houses were in nowise to be depended upon; neither did it answer the end at 
all; serving more to make the people desperate, and drive them to such 
extremities as that they would break out at all adventures. 

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And what was still worse, those that did thus break out spread the 
infection farther by their wandering about w4th the distemper upon them, in 
their desperate circumstances, than they would otherwise have done; "for 
whoever considers all the particulars in such cases, must acknowledge, and 
cannot doubt, but the severity of those confinements made many people desper- 
ate, and made them run out of their houses at all hazards, and with the plague 
visibly* upon them, not knowing either whither to go, or what to do, or indeed 
what they did ; and many that did so were driven to dreadful exigencies and 
extremities and perished in the streets or fields for mere want, or dropped 
down, by the raging violence of the fever upon them." Others wandered 
into the country and went forward any way, as their desperation guided them, 
not knowing whither they went or would go, till, faint and tired, and not 
getting any relief, the houses and villages on the road, refusing to admit them 
to lodge, "whether infected or no, they perished by the roadside, or gotten 
into barns, and died there, none daring to come to them or relieve them, though 
perhaps, not infected for nobody would believe them." 

On the other hand, when the plague at first seized a family, that is 
to say, when any member of the family had gone out, and unwarily or 
otherwise caught the distemper and brought it home, it was certainly known 
to the family before it was known to the officers, who, "as you will see by 
the order, were appointed to examine into the circumstances of all sick persons, 
when they heard of their being sick." 

In this interval, between their being taken sick and the examiners 
coming, the master of the house had leisure and liberty to remove himself, 
or all his family, if he knew whither to go, and many did so But the 
great disaster was, that many did thus after they were really infected themselves, 
and so carried the disease into the houses of those who were so hospitable 
as to receive them, which, it must be confessed, was very cruel and ungrateful, 

" I am speaking now of people made desperate by the apprehensions of 
their being shut up, and their breaking out by stratagem or force, either before 
or after they were shut up, whose misery was not lessened when they were out, 
but sadly increased. On the other hand, many who thus got away had a retreat 
to go to, and other houses, where they locked themselves up, and kept hid till 
the plague was over ; and many families foreseeing the approach of the dis- 
temper, laid up stores of provisions sufficient for their whole families, and shut 
themselves up, and that so entirely that they were neither seen nor heard of, 
till the infection was quite ceased, and then came abroad sound and well." 

" The swellings," says Defoe, "which were generally in the neck or 
grion, when they grew hard, and would not break, grew so painful that it was 
equal to the most exquisite torture ; and some not able to bear the torment 
threw themselves out at the windows, shot themselves, or otherwise made away 
with themselves and I saw severel dismal objects of that kind ; others, unable 
to contain themselves, vented their pain by incessant roarings, and such loud 
and lamentable cries were to be heard as we walked along the streets, that 
would piece the very heart to think of, especially when it was to be considerefd 
that the same dreadful scourge might be expected every moment to seize upon 

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"After the funerals," says the historian, "became so many, that people 
could not toll the bell, mourn or weep, or wear black for one another, as they 
did before ; no, nor so much as make cofiEins for those that died; the fury of the 
infection appeared to be so increased, that in a short they shut up no houses at 
all; it seemed enough that all the remedies of that kind had been used till they 
were found fruitless, and that the plague spread itself with an irresistible fury> 
so that, as the fire the succeeding year spread itself, and burned with such 
violence, that the citizens in despair gave over their endeavors to extinguish it, 
so in the plague, it came at last to such violence, that the people sat still look- 
ing at one another, and seemed quite abandoned to despair ; whole streets 
seemed to be desolated, and not to be shut up only, but to be emptied of their 
inhabitants ; doors were left open, windows stood shattering with the wind in 
the empty houses, for want of people to shut them. In a word, people 
began to give up themselves to their fears, and to think that all regulations and 
methods were in vain, and that there was nothing to be hoped for, but a univer- 
sal desolation." 

In such calamities death seems to forbid the ordinary funeral rites which 
love and respect pay to the departed. There is a dreadful necessity for haste, 
and the remains of thousands are whelmed in one common grave. The heat of 
the summer and the terrible nature of the pestilence compelled the authorities 
to these wholesale burials. 

" They dug a great pit in the churchyard of the parish of Aldgate." We 
quote another extract from the graphic narrative of Defoe : 

"A terrible pit it was, and I could not resist my curiosity to go and see 
it ; as near as I maj^ judge, it was about fort}- feet in length, and about fifteen 
or sixteen feet broad ; and, at the time I first looked at it, about nine feet deep; 
but it was said, they dug it near twenty feet afterwards, in one part of it, till 
they could go no deeper for the water ; for the}^ had, it seems, dug several large 
pits before this ; for, though the plague was long in coming to our parish, yet, 
when it did come, there was no parish in or about London where it raged with 
such violence as in the two parishes of Aldgate and Whitechapel. In other 
church-yards they had also dug pits as the distemper spread, and especially in 
August when the dead-carts began to go round. Into these pits they had put 
perhaps fifty or sixty bodies each, then thej^ made larger holes wherein they 
buried all that the carts brought in a week, which by the middle to the end of 
August, came to from two hundred to four hundred a week ; and they could not 
well dig them larger, because of the order of the magistrates, confining them to 
leave no bodies within six feet of the surface ; and the water coming on at 
about seventeen or eighteen feet, they could not well put more in one pit ; but 
now the beginning of September, the plague raging in a dreadful manner, and 
the number of burials in our parish increasing to more than was ever buried in 
any parish about Eondon, of no larger extent, they ordered this dreadful gulf 
to be dug, for such it was rather than a pit. 

I got admittance into the church-yard by being acquainted with the 
sexton who attended, who, though he did not refuse me at all, yet earnestly 
persuaded me not to go ; telling me very seriously, for he was a good, religious 
and sensible man, that it was indeed, their business and duty to venture, and to 

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run all hazards, and that in it they might hoped to be preserved; but that I had 
no apparent call to it but my own curiosity, which he said, he believed I would 
not pretend was sufficient to justify my running that hazard. I told him I had 
been pressed in my mind to go; and that, perhaps it might be an instructing 
sight, that might not be without its uses. 'Nay,' says the good man, 'if you 
will venture upon that score, 'name of God, go in; for, depend upon it, it will 
be a sermon to you. It may be the best that ever you heard in your life. 
It is a speaking sight,' says he, 'and has a voice with it and a loud one, to 
call us all to repentance,' and with that he opened the door and said, 'Go, if 
you will.' 

"His discourse had shocked my resolution a little, and I stood wavering 
for a good while, but just at that interval, I saw two links come over from the 
end of the Minories, and heard the bellman, and then appeared a dead-cart, as 
they called it, coming over the streets; so I could no longer resist my desire of 
seeing ic, and went in. There was nobody as I could perceive at first, in the 
church-yard, or going into it, but the buriers and the fellow that drove the cart, 
but when they came up to the pit they saw a man go to atid again; muffled in 
a brown cloak, and making motion with his hands under his cloak, as if he 
was in great agony; and the buriers immediately gathered about him, supposing 
he was one of those poor delirious, or desperate creates that used to pretend, 
as I have said, to bury themselves; he said nothing as he walked about, but 
two or three times groaned very deeply and loud, and sighed as if his heart 
would break. 

"When the buriers came up to him, they soon found he was neither 
infected nor desperate, as I have observed above, nor a person distempered in 
mind, but one oppressed with a dreadful weight of grief indeed, having his wife 
and several of his children all in the cart that just came in with him, and he 
followed in an agony and excess of sorrow, He mourned heartily, as it was 
easy to see, but with a kind of masculine grief that could not give itself vent 
by tears; and, calmly desiring the buriers to let him alone, said he would only 
see the bodies thrown in and go away; so they left importuning him; but no 
sooner was the cart turned round and the bodies shot into the pit promiscuously 
which was a surprise to him, for he at least expected that they would have been 
decently laid in, though indeed, he was afterwards convinced that was imprac- 
ticable; I say no sooner did he see the sight, but he cried out aloud, unable to 
contain himself. 

"I could not well hear what he said, but he went backward two or 
three steps and fell down in a swoon; the buriers ran to him and took him up> 
and in a little while he came to himself, and they led him away to the Pye 
tavern, over against the end of Houndsditch, where it seems the man was known 
and where they took care of him. He looked into the pit again as he went away, 
but the buriers had covered the bodies immediately by throwing in earth, and 
though there was light enough, for there w^ere lanterns and candles in them, 
placed all night round the sides of the pit, upon the heaps of earth, yet nothing 
could be seen. 

"This was a mournful scene indeed, and affected me almost as much as 
the rest; but another was awful and full of terror; the cart had in it sixteen or 


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seventeen bodies; some were wrapped up in linen sheets, some in rugs, some a 
little other than naked, or so loose that what covering they had fell from them 
in the shooting out of the cart, and they fell quite naked among the rest; but 
the matter vvas not much to them, or the indecency much to anyone else, seeing 
they were all dead, and were to be huddled together into the common grave of 
mankind, as we may call it, for here no diflference was made, but poor and rich 
went together; there was no other way of burials, neither was it possible that 
there should, for coffins were not to be had for the prodigious numbers that fell 
in such a calamity as this. 

"It was reported,- by the way of a scandal upon the buriers, that if any 
corpse was deliv^ered to them which was decently wound up — ^as we called it 
then, in a winding sheet tied over the head and feet, which some did, and which 
was generally of good linen; I say it was reported, that the buriers were so 
wncked as to strip them in the cart, and thus carry them quite naked to the 
burial ground; but as I cannot credit anything so vile among Christians, and at 
a time so filled with terrors as that was, I can only relate it, and leave it 

The hard-hearted selfivShness of the professional London nurse, such as 
Dickens has depicted in his celebrated character of Mrs. Gamp, was profusely 
illustrated. In many cases the unfortunate victims of the distemper were aban- 
doned by their nurses and left to die in solitude. In most of the others there 
was shameful neglect. One of these nurses, an old hag, was detected in the act 
of leaving a house loaded with infected clothing which she had stripped from 
one of the victims in his last agonies. Reeking with the terrible odor of the 
pestilence, and looking more like a hobgoblin than a human being, the wretch 
was brought before a magistrate and sentenced to a long imprisonment in pun- 
ishment for her villainy. 

By the latter part of August the pestilence had increased to a frightful 
extent, and was aggravated by the unusuallj^ hot, close season. 

Through the long summer days the sun shone fiercely down upon the 
festering city, men with bated breath and scanning every one who approached, 
paced stealthily through the noisome streets and alleys, and listened at a dis- 
tance to some new tale of terror. Each one when he would make a purchase of 
provisions, or of some other necessaries of life, laid down the exact sum for 
purchase fearing to receiv^e any money in exchange. The churches which 
echoed with dolorous psalms and prayers, were redolent with of odor of musk 
and essences, which those who could afford such luxuries carried in vials con- 
stantly with them. The smell of burning pitch and rosin, and the smoke of 
gunpowder used in fumigating houses, loaded the air mixed with strange and 
unearthly whifiFs of pestilential vapor. 

"Once," says a contemporary writer, "on a public day whether a Sabbath 
day or not, I do not remember, in Aldgate Church, in a pew full of people, on a 
sudden one fancied she smelled an ill smell, immediately she fancied the plague 
was in the pew, whispers her notion or suspicion to the next, then rises and goes 
out of the pew; it immediately took with the next, and so with them all, and 
everyone of them, and of two or three adjoining pews, got up and went out of 
the church,' nobody knowing what it was offended them. 


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The fear of contracting the plague from the provisions that it was daily 
necessarry to purchase was an ever pressing one, especially as many of the 
butchers had suffered terribly with the distemper. The rich had in many cases 
early in the summer, laid in a stock of provisions sufficient to last them for 
several months, but the poorer classes who were forced to supply their daily 
wants by resorting to the markets, were constantly haunted by this ever-present 

The money which the butchers and market men received for their goods 
was immediately plunged in a pot of vinegar to remove the infection. Sometimes 
while a man or woman was standing at a butcher stall, he or she would drop 
dead in a moment without any outward mark of disease, the gangrene having 
worked inwardly, and almost without the victim's knowing that he had been 
marked for destruction. 

Sometimes a wretched being, with his neck swathed in linen, could have 
been seen crawling along the street, his eyes glaring with the ferocious look 
characteristic of the disease. When the passers-by saw this, they would turn 
short about and run half distracted in the other direction only to meet face to 
face a similar object of terror. 

Sometimes persons would fall dead in the streets, and terrible shrieks 
could be heard, and screechings of women, who in their agony, would throw 
open their chamber windows, and thrusting out their distorted faces, give vent 
to their dismal cries. 

" Passing through Token House Yard, in Lothbury," says Defoe, "of a 
sudden a casement violently opened just over my head, and a woman gave three 
frightful screeches, and then cried, 'O ! death, death, death !' in a most inimit- 
able tone, which struck me with horror, and a chilliness in my very blood. 
There was nobody to be seen in the whole street, neither did any other window 
open, for people had no curiosity now in any case, nor could anybody help one 
another, so I went on to pass into Bell alley." 

As we have before stated, the most of the rich people and nobles had left 
the city; the poor people seemed at last to become callous at the horrors of the 
pestilence, and quite venturesome and fearless went about their employments 
with a sort of desperate and brutal courage. There seemed at last to be no 
diflBculty in securing persons to attend to any business, no matter how hazardous; 
such as that of tending the sick, watching houses shut up, carrying infected 
persons to the pest-house, and what was still worse, carrying the dead away to 
their graves. 

If the scene by daylight was full of terror and pain what must it have 
been when the sun had sunk, and night fell upon the darkened and desolate 

Here and there through the lonely streets, solitary wayfarers muffled up, 
hurried along, ever and anon casting terrified glances askance at the red cross- 
marked doors. Through the silent watches of the night, the dead-cart could 
have been heard rumbling along on its dread errand, and the deep, oft-repeated 
cry of the hoarse bellman, "Bring out your dead !" 

Looking down through the narrow and filthy streets, the watchmen's 
lanterns could have been seen twinkling dirfily; dark figures flitted to and fro as 




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In this department is employed a skilled Engineer and a corps of 
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In this department attention is given to the collection of royalties; 
payment of annuities and the working of patents for inventions in the 
Foreign Countries; and the preparation of assignments, contracts and 
other instruments of writing in the different foreign languages. 


In this department is emi)lo3'ed a gentleman and a corps of assist- 
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No advance payments are reqijired, nor charge made unless a sale is 

Burning of the Jessup & Moore's Warehouse, September 28th, 1891. 

[Scene after the fall of Walls.] 


the nurses, examiners and surgeons went b}' each upon their mission. From 
gloomy portals of houses, and from the red-crossed door of hovels, ghastly 
burdens were hurried and pitched into the dead-cart amid oaths and wailings. 
At the steaming church-yards, ill-favored men plied the shovel and mattock bj- 
the light of blazing links, which threw a wierd and flickering light upon the 
swollen corpses they tossed into the reeking pits. 

The clergymen and priests were few in number, but such as there were 
still remaining moved about and ministered to the sick, but the formal rites of 
religion seemed to be for the time suspended. 

Some, either to smother their apprehensions or rendered desperate by 
their situation, took to deep drinking and carousing. The taverns and places 
of low resort rang with bacchanalian songs and noisy orgies, which mingled 
with the hoarse cries of the dead-cart drivers and bellmen. Some of these rois- 
terers would look up pale and ghastly from their cups, and suddenly gangrened 
by the pestilence, dropped corpses upon the floor. 

Thieves who plied their trade even in broad daylight among the deserted 
houses, in the night broke into those still tenanted, and stripped the bed-clothes 
off the sick, and the sheets in which the corpses had been wrapped. This also 
helped to spread the infection; and the desperate men, loaded down with their 
horrible plunder, were often seen to drop dead in the streets and alleys. 

One of the most terrible features of those nights was the dismal, unearthly 
cries which could have been heard on every side. Some issued from the infected 
houses, where the plague-stricken fought madly with their attendants, who 
sought to detain them in their beds. Others were uttered by wretched creatures 
who, in their delirium, had escaped in their night clothes from the house where 
they were confined, and now wandered through the streets looking like ulcerous 
walking corpses, with glaring eyeballs, and gave vent to these distressing cries, 
mingled with prayers and curses. 

One of these foul spectres of disease and death attempted to kiss a lady, 
who fled from him, but was speedily overtaken by her pursuer, who seemed 
endowed with the strength of a madman, and obliged to submit to his loath- 
some caresses. Within an hour she died, either of fright or of the plague, it is 
uncertain which. 

For the purpose of disinfecting the atmosphere, great fires were built at 
the expense of the city, and kept burning night and day. These fires were 
fifteen in number : One at- the Custom House, one at Billingsgate, one at 
Queenhithe, one at the Three Cranes, one in Blackfriars, one at the gate of 
Bridewell, one at the corner of Leadenhall street and Grace Church, one at the 
north and one at the south end of the Royal Exchange, one at Guildhall, one 
at Blackwell Hall gate, one at the Lord Mayor's door in St. Helen's one at the 
west entrance into St. Paiil's one at the entrance into Bow Church, and one at 
the foot of the Bridge. 

Two hundred caldrons of coal a week were consumed to keep these fires 
alight, and desperate men of the lowest class were hired to tend them. The 
midnight sky was reddened by the glow, and the watchers who hovered about 
them looked like demons from the infernal pit. 

Religious enthusiasts ran about, sometimes naked, and with a pan of 




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burning charcoal upon their heads, denounced the city. We will not dwell upon 
the horrors which attended the dead-cart in its nightly rounds. 

"One cart," says Defoe, "going up Shoreditch was forsaken by the 
drivers, or being left to one man to drive, he died in the street, and the horses 
going on overthrew the cart and left the bodies, some thrown here, some there, 
in a dismal manner. Another cart was, so it seems, found in the great pit in 
Finsbury Fields, the driver being dead, or having been gone and abandoned it, 
and the horses running too near it, the cart fell in and drew the horses in also. 
It was suggested that the driver was thrown in with it, and that the cart fell on 
him, by reason his whip was seen to be in the pit among the bodies; but that I 
suppose, could not be certain. 

"In our parish of Aldgate, the dead-carts were several times, as I have 
heard, found standing at the churchyard gate, full of dead bodies; but neither 
bellman or driver, or anyone else with it. Neither in this or many other cases 
did they know what bodies they had in their cart, for sometimes they were let 
down with ropes out of balconies and out of windows, and sometimes the bearers 
brought them to the cart, sometimes other people ; nor as the men themselves 
said did they trouble themselves to keep any account of the numbers.'' 

lyondon became at last a place to be shunned, abhorred by all the world. 
The trading nation of Europe refused to correspond with it, or to admit its ships 
to their ports. Foreign trade came to an end, and domestic trade was confined 
to the goods which are the necessities of life. Manufactures of all kinds were 
discontinued. A cordon was drawn about the city which was as effectual as a 
besieging army — this was a cordon of fear. The intercourse between the city 
and country became rare. The people of the rural districts pitied the Londoners 
and avoided them as far as was possible. Communion with the infected was 
sometimes forced upon them. 

Numbers of poor despairing creatures who had the distemper upon them 
and were grown stupid or melancholy by the misery, as many were, wandered 
away into the fields and woods and into secret, uncouth places, almost anywhere 
to creep into a hedge or bush and die. 

The inhabitants of the villages adjacent would, in pity, carry them food, 
and set it at a distance, that they might fetch it if they were able, and sometimes 
they were not able; and the next time they went they would find the poor 
wretches lying dead, and the food untouched. The country people woul go and 
dig a hole at a distance from them, and then with long poles and hooks at the 
the end of them drag the bodies into these pits, and throw the earth in from as 
far as they could ca-st it, to cover them; taking notice how the wind blew, and 
so come on that side which the seamen call to windward that the scent of the 
bodies might blow from them. 

And thus great numbers went out of the world who were never known, 
or any account of them taken, as well within the bills of mortality as without. 
Many persons nev^er perceived that they were infected till they found to their 
unspeakable horror, the tokens come out upon them after which they seldom 
lived six hours; for those spots they called tokens were really gangrene spots, 
or mortified flesh, in small knobs as broad as a silver penny, and hard as apiece 
ot callus or-horn; so that when the disease was come up to that length there was 
nothing could follow but certain death. 





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It should be noticed that the most rash, fearless and desperate in this 
calamity were the women; and as there were vast numbers that went about as 
nurses to tend those that were sick, they committed great many petty thieveries 
in the houses where they were employed, until at length the parish officers were 
sent to recommend nurses to the sick, and always took an account of who it was 
they sent, so that they could call them to account if the house had been abused 
where they were placed. 

But these robberies extended chiefly to wearing clothes, linen and what 
rings or money they could come at when the person died who was under their 
care but not to a general plunder of the houses. One of these nurses, several 
years after — on her death bed — confessed, with the utmost horror, the robberies 
she had committed at the time of her being a nurse, and by which she enriched 
herself to a great degree. 

A nurse in one place laid a wet cloth upon the face of the dying patient 
whom she tended, and so put an end to his life; another smothered a young 
woman she was looking to when in a fainting fit; some killed them by giving 
them one thing, some another, and some starved them by giving them nothing 
at all. 

A man coming to a house in White Cross street and finding the door shut 
knocked loudly, and as he thought heard somebody answer within, but was not 
sure, so he waited, and after some stay knocked again, and then a third time, 
when he heard somebody coming down stairs. 

At length the man of the house came to the door; he had on his breeches 
or drawers, and a yellow flannel waistcoat, no stockings, a pair of slip shoes, a 
white cap on his head, and as the young man said, death in his face. 

When he opened the door, he asked why he was disturbed. The 3'oung 
man, although a little surprised, replied "I come from such a one, and he, my 
master sent me for the money which he says you know of." "Very well child," 
Return the living ghost, "call as you go by at Cripplegate Church and bid*them 
ring the bell;" and with these words he shut the door again, and went up-stairs 
and died the same day. 

Defoe's narrative of the great London plague and the pages of contempo- 
rary writers are crowd^ with incidents that are told with a circumstantiality 
that is startling. The story of the blind piper who was taken for dead in the 
street when only stupid drunk is familiar to all, and how, coming out of stupor 
in the cart, and striking up his pipes all the burial men took fright and ran 
away. This is a touch of the ludicrous in the midst of the generally sorrowful 
and painful. 

A well-dressed gentleman obtained lodgings at the Pyed Bull, an inn at 
Islington, and was shown to a garret room, the servant assuring him that they 
had no better. "Well," saj'S he, "I must make shift, this is a dreadful time, 
but it is only for a night;" so he sat down upon the bed-side, and bade the maid 
fetch him a pint of warm ale; accordingly, the servant went for the ale but some 
hurry in the house which employed her other ways put it out of her head, and 
she went up to him no more. 

The next morning seeing no appearance of the gentleman, somebody in 
the house asked the servant that had shown him up stairs what had become of 





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him. She started. "Alas !" said she; "I never thought more of him; he bade 
me carry him some warm ale; but I forgot;" upon which, not the maid but some 
other person was sent up to see after him, who on going into the room, found 
him stark dead and almost cold, stretched out across the bed; his clothes were 
pulled off, his jaw fallen, his eyes open in a most frightful posture, the rug of the 
bed being grasped hard in one of his hands, so that it was plain he died soon 
after the maid left him, and it is probable that had she gone up with the ale she 
would have found him dead in a few minutes after he had sat down upon the 
bed. The alarm was great in the house, as one may suppose, they having been 
free from the distemper till that disaster, which bringing the infection to them, 
spread it immediately to other houses round about it. 

One man infected, running out of his bed in his shirt, in the anguish and 
agony of his swellings, of which he had three upon him, got his shoes on and 
went to put on his coat, but the nurse resisting and snatching the coat from him 
he threw her down, ran over her, ran down stairs and into the street, directly 
to the Thames in his shirt, the nurse running after him and calling to the watch 
to stop him; but the watchman, frightened at the man, and afraid to touch him, 
let him go on; upon which he ran down to the Stillyard stairs, threw away his 
shirt and plunged into the Thames; and being a good swimmer, swam quite over 
the river; and the tide coming in, as they call it, that is running westward, he 
reached the land not till he came about the Falcon Stairs, where landing and 
finding no people there, it being in the night he ran about the streets there — 
naked as he was — for a good while, when it being by that time high water, he 
takes the river again and swam back again to the Stillyard; landed, ran up the 
streets to his own house and went to bed again. This experiment cured him of 
the plague, that is to say that the violent motion of his arms and legs stretched 
the parts where the swellings he had upon him were — under his arms and in his 
groin — and caused them to break; and that the cold of the water abated the fever 
in his blood. 

Among the traditions of the plague is the following story. It seems more 
like a nightmare than anything which really happened, still, as there is nothing 
improbable in the nature of the facts, we subjoin it for the delectation of such 
of our readers that like stories that are purely horrible : 

John Colby, a wealthy goldsmith of London, had early in June of that 
year removed his family and effects to his country house in Harefield. His son 
had been receiving his education at Padua, and was expected home early in the 
fall. His father received in August a letter from him by which he learned that 
he had embarked upon the ship Fire Drake and would arrive in the Thames in 
about ten days. 

About the appointed time Colby started on horse back to meet him, and 
expecting to make a circuit around the city and go through Surrey into Kent, 
where at Woolwich he hoped to find the vessel. Nightfall overtook him in the 
suburbs of the city. His horse had become suddenly lame; the inns were 
abandoned and he had no alternative but to push through the city on foot till 
he could find shelter and food. His route led him directly through the districts 
which had been most severely infected. His corpulent habit of body and age 
prevented him making all the speed he wished, and by the time he had reached 

e D^aJ^r ir\Ycll°w^ [^ir\e Fboriryg f?r the Trade orjy. 

SO "^~" A'^^L ocusT Stree t s. 

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St. Giles where the plague was then raging furiously, he was quite spent and 

The scenes through which he was passing were such as to shake far 
stronger nerves than the worthy goldsmith possessed, for he had passed his life 
in peaceful scenes and was naturally a timorous man. As he paced along the 
lonely dim streets, he caught glimpses of terrified faces at the windows of the 
infected houses, heard doleful cries of pain and lamentation saw the doors that 
were marked with the red cross, and the dark figures of the drowsy watchmen, 
with their lanterns faintly twinkling and making the darkness more visible. The 
air was heavy with the fumes of pitch and the smell of strong essences mixed 
with the dank and noisome vapors of the pestilence. 

Overcome with his exertions in rapid walking, bathed in a cold perspira- 
tion of fear, he paused to take breath near a large house in the upper windows 
of which was one candle sending out its flickering light into the surrounding 
gloom. All was still within. There was the terrible cross upon the door, and 
there was the watchman sitting upon the doorstep with his head leaning against 
the doorway, evidently plunged in the deep sleep produced by protracted vigils. 
As he stood riveted to the spot in silent horror he saw a lower window of the 
infected mansion slowly open and a man's head thrust out, apparently to see if 
he was observed by a watchman. A moment after the figure issued from the 
window and sotod upon the pavemant. He was a man in the prime of life, he 
was clothed only in his shirt and drawers. A frowsy napkin about his head and 
his neck swathed in folds of linen. As he turned his face towards the place 
where the honest goldsmith was standing, he showed him a distorted visage and 
eyes sparkling with ferocity. He came towards him with his hands stretched 
out as if in penance. 

The goldsmith turned from the dreadful sight and summoning up all his 
strength walked rapidly away. After walking thus the distance of a square on 
turning his head over his shoulder, what was his horror at seeing that the plague 
stricken had quickened his pace without the goldsmith hearing him, for he was 
barefooted, and was nearly treading on the heels of the now thoroughly affrighted 
man, who immediately broke into as fast a run as his fears and exhaustion would 
permit. The plague -stricken followed his example, and being a stronger and 
younger man, easily kept close behind the panting goldsmith, now and then the 
the latter turning his head could see the plague-stricken almost touching him, 
his distorted face wearing a hideous leer of mingled pain and invitation could 
feel the pestilential breath almost fanning his cheek as he turned. Up one 
street, down another, round sharp corners, and the dead-cart men and watchmen 
at the doors of the infected houses stood staring at the the dreadful race. The 
blood flew into the goldsmith's head, sparks danced before his eyes, and just as 
they passed out from St. Giles he was about to drop with terror and exhaustion 
when the plague-stricken, muttering frightful imprecations, suddenly gave a 
loud cry and dropped a corpse upon the pavement. The dead-cart soon bore 
him away, a fearful sight even in death, to the goldsmith, who now pursued his 
journey as well as the eff"ect of such a danger would admit. 

"In that very moment," says the chronicler, "when we might very well 
say, 'Vain was the help of man,' I say, in that very moment it pleased God with 


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a most agreeable surprise, to cause the fury of it to abate, even of itself ; and 
the malignity declining, as I have said, though infinite numbers were sick, 
yet fewer died; and the x'ery first week's bill decreased 1,843, a vast number 

It is impossible to express the change that appeared in the very counte- 
nances of the people that Thursday morning when the weekly bill came out; it 
might have been perceived in their countenances that a secret surprise and 
smile of joy sat upon everybody's face, they shook one another by the hands in 
the street who would hardly go on the same side of the way with one another 
before; where the streets were not too broad they would open their windows 
and call from one house to another, and ask how they did and if they had heard 
the good news that the plague was abated; some would return when they said 
good news, and ask : "What good news?" And when they were answered that 
the plague was abated and the bills decreased almost two thousand, they would 
cry out, "God be praised,' and would weep aloud for joy, telling them they had 
heard nothing of it; and such was the joy of the people that it was, as it were, 
life to them from the grave. I' could almost set down as many extravagant 
things done in the excess of their joy as in their grief ; but that would be to 
lessen the value of it. 

In the last week of July the number of burials amounted to 2,010; but the 
first week of August it rose to 3,871; thence to 3,880; then tho 4,237; the next 
week to 6,102; and at last to 7,000 and 8,000 weekly. In the last weekf Sep- 
tember, however, the fury of the disease began to abate; though vast numbers 
were sick, but the number of burials decreased from 7,155 to 5,538; the next 
week there was a further decrease to 5. 9 29, then to 4,327, next to 3,665, then to 
1,421, and the next week to 1,031. 

At last, on the cessation of the disease in the winter of 1665, the inhab- 
itants who had fled returned to their habitations, and London, to appearance, 
» became as populous as ever, though it was computed that 100,000 persons had 
been carried off by the plague. 


The London of 1666 was quite a different city from the London of 1872. 
The former, with its dusky, narrow, crooked streets, its old, wooden, thatched 
houses, with garrets overhanging and approaching those of the opposite houses; 
the walls of laths and plaster and mud; the thoroughfares dimly lighted with 
tallow candles, placed at uncertain intervals and kept burning till only nine 
o'clock in the evening; its one line of irregular arches, extending across the 
River Thames and overhung by piles of mean and crazy buildings, garnished 
with scores of moldering heads, sad relics of a barbarous custom. The latter, 
with its broad, well-paved and lighted avenues; its statelj' palaces of luxury, 
commerce and art; its solid and enduring magnificence. 

London in 1666, like Chicago in 1872. presented a vast pile of combusti- 
bles for the fire fiend to riot upon at his will. "At the time of the Restoration, 
1660," says Macaulay, "it had ben built for the most part of wood and plaster; 
the few bricks that were used were ill-baked, the booths where goods were 
exposed for sale projected far into the streets, and were overhung by the upper 





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It is a noteworthy coincidence that the great fire in London and that in 
Chicago both broke out between sunset on Saturday night and sunrise on Sunday 
morning; both occurred also in the fall, when everything had been dried and 
baked by the summer's sun; both were fanned by a heavy gale of wind, and both 
devoured the wooden houses and the massive fire-proof structures with almost 
equal quickness. 

But let us hasten to our narrative. Hardly had the plague, whose ravages 
we have described, so far abated that the inhabitants had begun to return to 
their houses when a new and terrible calamity visited the unfortunate city. At 
one o'clock in the morning of Sunday, September 2d, 1666, the slumbering 
citizens were awoke from their sleep by the cry of fire ! It had broken out in 
a baker's shop in Pudding Lane, by Fish street in Billingsgate Ward, in the 
lower part of the city, among rotten wooden houses, full of combustible goods, 
which seem to have been placed there as if to furnish a special fuel for the con- 
flagration. Making swnft havoc of some of the frail wooden houses, it rushed 
down the hill towards the bridge, crossed Thames street and attacked St. 
Magnus' Church at the foot of the bridge. 

This church was an ancient edifice of great size, built of huge blocks of 
stone and solid beams of oak. For a brief space only it resisted the fire, which 
soon took possession of it, and like a merciless conqueror, shot its flames in all 
directions, and soon caught hold of the piles of buildings on the bridge and 
leveled them to the ground. Stayed in its course by the bridge — a very solid 
structure — and the river, it turned and marched back into the city again, its 
roaring battalions running upon the double quick through Thames street west- 
ward, where having such piles of combustible material to feed upon, it rioted for 
hours without pause or check. 

Breaking out as it did in the dead of the night, and making such swift 
progress, the afifrighted citizens had hardly time to dress themselves and run to 
the scene of the disaster, where it had already fastened with firm and tenacious 
grip upon the devoted city. The spectators were too much terrified and amazed 
to avail themselves of timely remedies, but merely set about moving their 
goods and household furniture, which in turn were overtaken and devoured bj' 
the nimble flames. 

The raging east wind soon fomented the flames, raising them in a 
moment from the bottom to the tops of houses, and scattered huge flakes 
and brands, which were whirled into the air to a vast height as if to threaten the 
very heavens. 

The firemen were on the ground soon after the fire made its appearance. 
Some brought ladders, some buckets and large syringes, and some rude engines, 
like what we have described in another part of this volume, but their arts and 
efforts were of no avail against the violence of the fire. The citizens were for 
a time encouraged to hope that the flames would yield to the streams of water 
thrown by so many stout arms which wielded the engines and handled the 
buckets. When it became apparent no human effort would avail to extinguish 
the flames they abandondoned themselves to the wildest grief ; some cast them- 
selves down on their knees and prayed to almighty God to spare their beloved 
homes; some stood in fixed attitudes like statues of despair. 


The streets resounded with the wailiugsof women and decrepit old people 
who had been driven from their burning homes, and the wildest confusion 
everywhere prevailed. 

The Lord Mayor and his officers endeavored in vain to restore order 
among the frantic rabble, and the city train l)ands were pressed back or shoved 
aside by the solid masses of the crowd, swaying this way and that, according as 
their wild impulses directed. 

Tens of thousands of Londoners had slept in their bed that night for the 
last time. At seven o'clock the next morning three hundred houses had been 
already burned, and yet the fire raged more violently than ever. That day wa.s 
the Sabbath— such a Sabbath as had never dawned on London. Some of the 
churches were now on fire. In the language of an ancient writer: "God 
seemed to come down and preach Himself in them, as He did in Sinai, when 
the mount burned with fire; such warm preaching those churches never had; in 
other churches ministers were preaching their farewell sermons; and people 
were hearing with quaking and astonishment ; instead of a holy rest which 
Christians had taken that day, there was a tumultuous hurrying about the streets 
towards the place that burned, and more tumultuous hurrying upon the spirits 
of those who sat still and had only the notice of the ear of the;strange and quick 
spreading of the fire." 

The train-bands, who were now in full force, were set to watch against 
incendiaries, for wild rumors were afloat that fire-balls had been thrown into 
houses to help spread the fire. The King had been advised of the calamity, 
but did not appreciate its extent till he was informed of it by Samuel Pepys, the 
Secretary to the Admiralty, from whose quaint diary we quote the following 
extracts : 

Skpt. 2nd, (Lord's Day) 1666.— "vSome of our maids .sitting up late last 
night, to get things ready against our feast to-day. Jane called us up about 
three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the city. So I 
and slipped on my night gown, and went to her window; and thought it to be on 
the back side of Market lane at the farthest, but being unused to such fires as 
followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep. 
About .seven rose again to dress my.self, and then looked out at the window, and 
saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. By and by Jane comes and 
tells me that she heard above three hundred houses had been burned down 
to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish street by 
London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently and walked to the Tower, 
and there got upon one of the high places. Sir J. Robinson's little son going 
with me; and there I did see the houses at the end of the bridge all on fire, 
and an infinite great fire on this and the other side of the bridge; which, among 
other people did trouble me for poor little Mitchell and our Sarah on the bridge. 
So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who 
tells me that it began this morning in the King's baker's house in Pudding 
lane, and that it hath burned down St. Magnus' Church and the most part of 
Fish street already. I went down to the water side, and there got a boat through 
the bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the 
Old Swan, already burned that way. and the fire running further, that in a very 


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little time it got as far as the State yard, while I was there. Everybody endeav- 
oring to remove their goods, and flinging them into the river o^ bringing them 
into lighters that lay off ; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the 
very fire touched them, and then running into boats or clambering from one 
pair of stairs by the water side to another. And among other things, the poor 
pigeons, I perceived, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the 
windows and balconies till they burned their wings and fell down. Having staid, 
and in an hour's time saw the fire rage every way, and nobody to my sight, 
endeavoring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire, 
and having seen it get as far as the State yard, and the wind mighty high, and 
driving it into the city; and everything after so long a drought proving com- 
bustible, even the very stones of churches, and among other things, the poor 

steeple by which pretty Mrs. lives, and whereof my old school -fellow 

Elborough is parson, taken fire at the very top, and there burned till it fell 

I went to White Hall (with a gentleman who desired to go off from the 
tower to see the fire in my boat), and then up to the King's closet in the Chapel 
where people came about me, and I did give them an account which dismayed 
them all, and word was carried to the King So I was called for, and did tell 
the King and Duke of York what I saw and that unless his Majesty commanded 
houses to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire. They seemed very much 
troubled, and the King commanded me to go to my Lord Mayor from him, and 
command him to spare no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way. 
The Duke of York bid me tell him that if he would have any more soldiers, 
he shall; and so did my Lord Arlington afterwards, as a great vSecret. Here 
meeting Captain Cocke, I rode in his coach which he lent me, and went with 
me to Paul's and from there walked along Watling street, as well as I could, 
every creature coming away laden with goods to save, and here and there sick 
people carried away in beds. Extraordinary good goods carried in carts and 
on backs. 

At last I met my Lord Mayor in Canning street like a man spent, with a 
handkerchi^ about his neck. To the King's message, he cried like a fainting 
woman, "Lord ! What can I do ? I am spent; people will not obey me, I have 
been pulling down houses; but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it." 
That he needed no more soldiers; and that for himself he go and refresh 
himself, having been up all night. So he left me and I him, and walked home; 
seeing people almost distracted, and no manner of means used to quench the 
fire. The houses were so very thick thereabouts and full of matter for burning 
as pitch and tar. in Thames street; and warehouses of oil, wines, brandy and 
other things. As soon as I dined I walked through the city, the streets full of 
nothing but people, horses and carts, laden with goods readj' to run over one 
another, and removing goods from one burned house to another. And again to 
see the fire which was not got farther both below and above (the bridge). Met 
with the King and Duke of York in their barge, and went with them to Queen- 
hith, and there called Sir Richard Brown to them. 

Their order was only to pull down houses apace, and so below bridge at 
the water side; but little was or could be done, the fire coming upon them so 


fast. Good hope there was stopping it at the Three Cranes above, and at 
Buttolph's wharf, below bridge, if care be used; but the wind carries it into 
the city, so as we know not by the water-side, what it do there. River full of 
lighters and boats taking in goods, and good goods swimming in the water, and 
only I observed that hardly one lighter or boat in three that had the goods of a 
house in, but there was a pair of Virginals in it * * * * * Walked to my boat 
and there upon the water again, and to the fire up and down, it still increasing, 
and the wind great. So near the fire as we could for smoke; and all over the 
Thames, with one's faces in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower 
of fire drops. This is very true, so as houses were burned by these drops and 
flakes of fire, three or four, nay five or six houses, one from another. When we 
could endure no more upon the water, went to a little ale-house on the bank 
side, over against the Three Cranes, and there staid till it was dark almost, and 
saw the fire grow, and as it grew darker, appeared more and more, and in 
corners and upon steeples, and between churches and houses; as far as we could 
see up the hill of the city, in a most horrid malicious bloody flame, not like the 
fire flames of an ordinary fire. We staid until it became darkish, we saw the 
fire as only one entire arch of fire from this to the the other side of the 
bridge and in a bow up the hill for a varch of above a mile long; it made me weep 

to see it. 

The churches, houses, and all on fire and flaming at once; and a horrid 
noise the flames made, and the cracking of houses at their ruin. So home with 
a sad heart, and there find everybody discoursing and lamenting the fire; and 
poor Tom Hater c omes with some few of his goods saved out of his house, 
which was burned upon Fish street hill. * * * * The goods of the merchants 
and household furniture were moved hastily from the lower to the upper part of 
the city, and were followed by a sad and tumultuous concourse of people. Those 
who lived at a distance from the fire were confident that it would be extinguished. 
They could scarcely imagine that the fire a mile off" could reach their houses. 
All means to stop it however proved ineffectual; the wind was so high that flakes 
of fire and burning matter were carried across several streets, and spread the 

conflagration on every side. 

The evening of the Lord's Day now drew on making the fire more visible 
and dreadful. Night spread over the city her black curtains, which the fire now 
dyed to a deep and gloomy yellow, through which the moonbeams feebly 
struggled. The smoke that rose from the conflagration seemed transformed, 
into a cloud of flame which being spread by the wind, the whole city at a 
distance seemed to be on fire. When the citizens saw this spectacle and they 
observed that the force of the fire itself instead of being diminished, it became 
continually augmented, then general consternation took possession of them and 
many abandoned themselves to despair. "Some persons," says the ancient 
writer from whom we have already quoted, "are upon their knees in the night, 
pouring out tears before the Lord, interceding for poor London in the day of its 
calamity; yet none can prevail to reverse that doom, which is gone forth against 
the city, the fire hath received its commission, and all attempts to hinder it are 

in vain." 

Sunday night the fire had gotten as far as Garlickhithe in Thames street, 
and had crept up into Cannon street, and levelled it with the ground, and still 



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was making forward by the water side, and upward to the brow of the hill on 
which the city was built. 

On Monday, Gracechurch street was all in flames, with Lombard street 
on the left, and part of Fenchurch street on the right, the fire working (though 
not so fast) against the wind that way; before it were pleasant and stately houses 
behind it were ruinous and desolate heaps. The burning then was in form of a 
bow of promise, indeed, but a promise only of desolation and ruin. 

"Now," said Thomas Vincent, a writer of that period, "carts and drays, 
and couches and horses, as many as could have entrance into the city, were 
loaded, and any money is given for help; 5^, 10^, 20^, 30^ for a cart to bear 
forth into the fields some choice things, which were ready to be consumed, and 
some of the carmen had the conscience to accept of the highest price, which 
the citizens did then offer in their extremity. I am mistaken if such money 
does not burn worse than the fire oi^t of which it was raked. Now casks of 
wine and oil, and other commodities are tumbled along, and the owners shove 
as much of their goods as they can towards the gate; everybody now becomes 
a porter to himself, and scarcely a back — either of a man or a woman — that 
hath strength, but had a burden on it in the streets. It was very sad to see 
such throngs of poor citizens coming in and going forth from the unburnt parts 
heavy laden wnth some pieces of their goods, but more heav}' laden with mighty 
grief, and sorry of heart, so that it is wonderful that they did not quite sink 
under these burdens." 

The following account of the fire on noon-day is copied from the memoirs 
of John Evelyn, an e^'e- witness of the conflagration. . 

"Sept. 3rd. — I had public prayers at home. The fire continuing after 
dinner, I took a coach, and with my wife and son we went to the bank side in 
South wark, were we beheld that dismal spectacle of the whole city being in 
dreadful flames near the water side. All the houses from the bridge, and 
all Thames street, and upward to Cheapside, down to the Three Cranes were 
now consumed; and so we returned exceedingly astonished what would become 
of the rest. 

The fire having continued all this night (if I may call that night, which 
was light as day for ten miles round about, after a dreadful manner) when con- 
spiring with a fierce eastern wind in a very dry season; I went on foot to the 
same place, and saw the whole south part of the city burning from Cheapside to 
the Thames, and all along Cornhill (for it likewise kindled back against the 
wind as well as forward), Tower street, Fenchurch street. Gracious street, and 
so along to Bainard's Castle, and was now taking hold of St. Paul's Church to 
which the scaffolds contributed exceedingly. The conflagration was so universal 
and the people so astonished that from the beginning I know not by what fate or 
despondency, they hardly stirred to quench it .so that there was nothing heard 
or seen but crying out and lamentation; running about like distracted creatures 
without at all attempting to save even their goods; such a strange consternation 
there was upon them, so as it burned both in breadth and length the churches, 
public halls, Exchange, hospitals, monuments and ornaments, leaping after a 
prodigious manner from house to house and street to street, at great distances 
one from the other; for the heat with a long set of fair and warm weather had 

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even ignited the air and prepared the materials to conceive the fire, which after 
an incredible manner devoured houses, furniture and everything. Here we saw 
the Thames covered with goods floating, all the barges and boats laden with 
what some had the time and courage to save, as on the other, the carts, etc., 
carrying out to the fields, which for many miles were strewn with moveables of 
all sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could 
get away. 

Oh, the miserable and calamitous spectacle ! Such as happily the world 
had not seen since the foundation of it, nor be outdone till the universal confla- 
gration thereof. All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning 
oven, and the light seen above forty miles round about for many nights. God 
grant mine eyes may never behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses 
all in one flame; the noise and cracking and thunder of the impetuous flames, 
the shrieking of women and children, the hurrying of people, the fall of towers, 
houses and churches, was like a hi